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E-2C Hawkeye (aka "The Hummer")


The Navy is ensuring that the E-2C continues as the "eyes and ears" of the Fleet as it applies the aircraft's capabilities in the integrated joint, overland, theater-wide air and missile defense environment. Many of the technological improvements being incorporated in the Hawkeye represent leading edge improvements not just in the Navy's theater air and missile defense posture, but in that of all US forces. Through carefully planned upgrades, the sensors, communications and avionics systems have kept pace with increasing tactical requirements. The latest update, Group II, coupled with a new mission computer presently under development, will take the Hawkeye well into the new century.

Group I and Group II aircraft are also referred to as E-2C+. The E-2C+ upgrade includes radar improvements, software upgrades, and more powerful engines. Further plans include upgrading the whole E-2 fleet to Block I and II status, which mean a new radar (APS-139 and APS-145, respectively) and overall improved processing capability.

Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems Sector (ISS) has manufactured 36 new Group II E-2C Hawkeyes for the Navy and two for France, which will receive its third Group II procured under the Hawkeye 2000 multiyear program to keep its inventory consistent. Northrop Grumman delivered the last new-production Group II Hawkeye aircraft to the US Navy in mid-2001. The aircraft was officially accepted by the service approximately six weeks ahead of schedule.

The Hawkeye force is keeping pace with changing tactical environments via Radar Modernization Program (RMP). The Radar Modernization Program is developing an advanced demonstration radar for the Hawkeye that will bring over-the-horizon precision, overland detection and tracking to the battle group. This, coupled with CEC, will fully integrate the Hawkeye into the Theater Missile and Cruise Missile Defense role. This precision tracking capability in conjunction with the Aegis and Standard missile will allow the battle group to deploy an organic, theater-wide cruise missile and theater ballistic missile defense umbrella for protection of high priority defended areas and U.S. and coalition forces.

Other major upgrades are planned and being pursued to keep the E-2C at the cutting edge of technology between now and the projected end of its service life in 2015, including Mission Computer Upgrade; Cooperative Engagement Capability; and satellite communications.

Hawkeye 2000

The next upgrade, the Hawkeye 2000, improves the Hawkeye's capabilities in detection, processing, identification, communications, and navigation. The Hawkeye 2000 program installs a Mission Computer Upgrade and Cooperative Engagement Capability, enhancing the E-2's capabilities in the multiple threat environment anticipated in the future. The Mission Computer Upgrade will improve target detection and tracking, and enable the incorporation of CEC. In turn, CEC-equipped Hawkeyes - the E-2C is the first aircraft in the U.S. aviation arsenal to incorporate this system - will significantly extend the engagement capability of surface forces. The CEC-equipped Hawkeye enhances early cueing of the Aegis weapons system, dramatically extending the lethal range of the Standard missile against airborne low altitude low radar cross section targets.

Procurement of E-2Cs by the Navy was planned at six per year for FY 1988-98. On 26 April 1999 Northrop Grumman was awarded a $1,305,400,000 multiyear advanced acquisition contract for the procurement of 21 airborne early warning E-2C aircraft in the Hawkeye 2000 configuration for the US Navy, and long lead material for one aircraft for the government of France under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in St. Augustine, Fla. (80%), and Bethpage, N.Y. (20%), and is expected to be completed by July 2006. The first of the next-generation Hawkeye 2000's was delivered to the US Navy in October 2001.

The Mission Computer Upgrade [MCU] and Advanced Control Indicator Set consists of an improved Mission Computer, a Data Loader Recorder, an Advanced Control Indicator Set, and the tactical software for use in the MCU. A new switch panel will be added for the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) switches which currently reside in the Auxiliary Control Unit. The MCU will provide increased throughput and data precision compared to the existing mission computer system. The Data Loader Recorder will consist of one receptacle and one transportable cartridge. The MCU replaces the existing mission computer, OL-424/ASQ, the Enhanced High Speed Processor, CP-1469A/A, tactical software, interfaces, the digital data-recorder reproducer, RD-576/ASQ, the EMDU, IP-1625/APQ-179, Auxiliary Display Unit, IP-1039/APA-172, Upper MDU, PP-8286/APQ-179, Auxiliary Control Unit, 123SCAV5167-101, and Main Power Supply, PP-6524/APA-172.

The Cooperative Engagement Capability [CEC] is a segment of the Ship Self Defense System and provides, in real time, to all members of the network (ideally all members of the battle group) a combined sensor picture of an operational area. This informational picture is common to all members and provides an improved situational awareness, improved resource management for sensors and weapons, and a more complete tracking picture. This is accomplished by coordinated sharing of a common data set collected from individual member resources in a network. The E-2C is the CEC designated airborne platform to increase the surveillance area for greater situational awareness, to provide early warning of distant targets, and to increase the separation and coverage of the surface battle group while maintaining the network within Line Of Sight (LOS). The E-2C will benefit from the tracking capabilities and accuracy of multiple radar's and sensors on various participating platforms. For the airborne application, the CEC consists of two Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) components, the Cooperative Engagement Processor, and the Data Distribution System. This set of GFE is referred to as the Common Equipment Set. The major contractor furnished components are the CEC Controls, Cooling System modifications, Common Equipment Set interface and intraface cabling and application software for the integration of the CEC into the E-2C. CEC controls and data display functions will be incorporated as part of the E-2C/CEC integration.

The Satellite Communications Forward Equipment Compartment accomodates a satellite communications (SATCOM) system. The Contractor Furnished Equipment (CFE) to be provided will integrate the ARC-210 Very High Frequency (VHF)/Ultra High Frequency (UHF) into the aircraft includes the Receiver- Transmitter (RT)-1794 (C) Transceiver (shock mounted), AM-75261/ARC High Performance Antenna (HPA), MT-7006/ARC HPA Mount, Radio Frequency (RF) Preamplifier, C-12561/ARC Remote Control Panel (RCP), and modified Smart Mount. The ARC-210 provides the E-2C Aircraft with SATCOM Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and non-TDMA Wide-Band Secure Voice (WBSV), Narrow-Band Secure Voice, Officer-in-Tactical Command Information Exchange Subsystem-II and Tactical Display Indicator (TDI) capability (with WBSV limited to non-TDMA). Additionally, the GFE supplied Multi-mission Advanced Tactical Terminal (MATT) and mount provide the E-2C Aircraft with SATCOM TDI Exchange System-B, Tactical Related Applications and Tactical Information Broadcast System capability.

The enhanced Vapor Cycle System will have a nominal cooling capacity of 14 tons and will be capable of supplying 155 pounds per minute of 62 F cooling air at the system design point. This translates to an estimated 15 ton installed aircraft capacity at the extreme ambient temperature conditions permitted for the Class I avionics in the FEC. A capability for cooling a maximum avionics heat load of 37,400 watts exists at the extreme hot day design condition. In addition to the increase in capacity of the vapor cycle system, the working fluid will be changed from R-114 to R-134a. R-134a is the best possible solution to recent EPA regulation, which phased out production of R-114 in 1996 due to ozone depletion concerns. R-134a is widely used in many commercial applications as is R-114, the current refrigerant. Functionally, there are no differences between 12 Ton and an enhanced vapor cycle units, both have an evaporator assembly and a condenser assembly for air cooling and heat rejection, respectively.

The NP-2000 propeller upgrades the current 4 bladed propeller to 8 blades, which is a digitally controlled all composite, flange-mounted single-piece steel hub. The design is derived from the Hamilton Sundstrand 54460-1 propeller currently used with the T56-A-425 and -427 engines on the E-2C airplanes. These aircraft operate from land and sea bases worldwide. A replacement propeller is required due to the expiring assets of the current propeller design, which is no longer in production and the blade supply is expected to reach critical level in late 2001. Approximately 50 blades are available in the inventory, and the tooling for the 54460-1 blade no longer exists, therefore , a replacement blade must be procured.

The NP2000 program is developing the new propellers for the E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound. Easier and less expensive to maintain than the current four blade propellers, the NP2000 is a digitally controlled, all-composite propeller blade system that will replace the electro-mechanical, steel spar propellers that are currently on all Hawkeye and Greyhound aircraft. The eight-bladed, all-composite NP2000 propeller is a military derivative of the commercial, six-bladed 568F propeller designed and manufactured by Hamilton Sundstrand and its French subsidiary, Ratier-Figeac. The issues that caused the replacement of the old four-blade model were not performance related. Rather, it was an issue of the old blade no longer being available for purchase. The NP2000 replaces the out-of-production 54460 Hamilton Sundstrand propeller on the twin-engine E-2Cs and C-2As. The NP2000 also is designed to be compatible with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 and the Rolls-Royce AE2100 engines for P3 and C-130 aircraft applications.

The U.S. Navy selected the NP2000 for its E-2C Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound aircraft in November 1997. The $44.5 million contract calls for 187 propellers with an option to purchase 54 more. A Navy E-2C Hawkeye equipped with state-of-the-art composite eight-blade propellers successfully completed its first flight 19 April 2001. Phase I of the flight test program will expand the flight envelope and assess and validate flying qualities. Aircraft carrier suitability testing took place in late summer 2001. Phase II involves performance and additional shipboard testing. The NP2000 flight test program should be completed by fall 2002 followed by Fleet Introduction.

Advanced development of the follow-on to the Hawkeye 2000 is underway. The Advanced Hawkeye design features an all-new radar with a hybrid, electronically scanned array antenna that delivers the twin benefits of 360-degree coverage and enhanced target detection and tracking capabilities in high-clutter environments. Advanced development hardware has already been built and tested and a test aircraft is being modified to flight test the system. With other enhancements planned, the Advance Hawkeye will not only deliver significant improvements in its AEW&EW capability, but also add new ones to support theater missile defense operations.

Radar Modernization Program (RMP)

In January 2002 the US Navy awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $49 million Pre-Systems Development and Demonstration (Pre-SD&D) contract for the E-2C Hawkeye Radar Modernization Program (RMP). This contract is the beginning of a more than $1 billion development effort to deliver unprecedented early warning and battle management capabilities by the end of this decade and is expected to lead to a multibillion-dollar program for production of this next-generation Advanced Hawkeye. RMP would replace the radar to allow the E-2C to significantly increase the number of targets the aircraft can detect, track and feed into the CEC network.

The Navy's primary airborne node in its future network-centric structure will be the Advanced Hawkeye which results from this Radar Modernization Program. The RMP Pre-SD&D effort will advance the design of the E-2C mission system, which has been researched by Integrated Systems over the past several years. Under the 12-month Pre-SD&D contract, Integrated Systems will define the physical architecture of the next-generation E-2C mission system, produce the preliminary weapon system specification and provide associated program plans. Flight testing of one of the new radar candidates, the ADS-18, had already been undertaken using a C-130. A second radar candidate is a UHF Active Electronically Scanned Array (UESA).

The development program will integrate a number of new capabilities into the aircraft's new airborne early warning and control system. The Hawkeye 2000 radar system now in production will be replaced with a new, solid-state, electronically steered UHF radar. This next-generation Hawkeye will also have theater missile defense capabilities. Other improvements will include a tactical cockpit giving the co-pilot the capability to function as a fourth mission system operator; a new communications suite; new generators; improved identification friend or foe system; and an updated mission computer and software. The development program will also target reducing production and operations and support costs. The full SD&D program contract is expected to be awarded at the end of 2003, with fleet introduction planned for around 2011.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector's Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW & EW) Systems business unit is the prime contractor. Major system teammates include Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Syracuse, N.Y.; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, Md.; Raytheon Company, El Segundo, Calif.; BAE Systems, Greenlawn, N.Y.; and L-3 Communications Randtron Antenna Systems, Menlo Park, Calif.

Advanced Hawkeye radar risk reduction flight-testing was performed at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, on the NC-130H aircraft from December 2002 - June of 2003. The Advanced Development Model radar system used during the demonstrations at the Pacific Makaha Ridge Facility in 1997 and 1999 was integrated into the NC-130H. Specific risk reduction objectives included evaluation of space time adaptive processing operation in critical operational environments and conditions and radar system performance. The system was operated in overland and littoral environments that included ground traffic, clutter, jamming, and casual electromagnetic interference. Radar system assessment included controlled target detection range performance in clutter and jamming environments and system accuracy. Initial analysis of flight test data indicates the program met all system risk reduction objectives and achieved all predicted performance capabilities.

GrIIM RePr Mission Computer Replacement

In the fall of 2004, the Navy and the Northrop Grumman Corporation introduced a Mission Computer Replacement (MCR) to the E-2C Group II aircraft in the fall, referred to as GrIIM RePr, the acronym carried by the program that produced the system (pronounced 'grim reaper').

The new Group II Mission Computer uses available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) non-developmental (NDI) technology that aim to improve E-2C mission readiness and growth potential, to keep pace with increasing carrier strike group command and control and net-centric mission requirements, while improving reliability and reducing total ownership costs.

The MCR replaces the original Group II Litton L-304 tactical mission computer, used in the Group II aircraft since the late 1960s. The L-304's high maintenance costs, coupled with limited processing potential and memory capacity, had inhibited the ability to integrate modern, more advanced Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence and Surveillance (C4IS) weapons systems into the aircraft. The MCR provides more reliable, high-performance processing, with substantial growth provisions to meet current and future operational needs.

The replacement uses industry-proven COTS/NDI and reuses existing E-2C flight software to minimize hardware, software and integration costs, while requiring no structural, wiring or cooling changes to the aircraft's configuration. In addition, the mission computer is easier to maintain, with a predicted Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of greater than 10,000 hours. This MTBF is attributed to its state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques, integration of operationally proven components, and a hardware suite that provides 98.7 percent fault detection and reporting capabilities. Software support will also be more easily maintained in either legacy or advanced software support environments, and the system's Open Systems Architecture will allow software growth for future C4IS interoperability requirements.

The GrIIM RePr Integrated Product Team (IPT) was assembled in 2000, and in 2001, the prime contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman Space Technologies. Lockheed Martin Systems Integration was then competitively selected by NGST to provide and produce the COTS and NDI computer hardware. Navy acceptance testing was conducted from December 2003 to June 2004, and in response to the Fleet's War Fighter Focus Group, the GrIIM RePr IPT developed a compressed testing strategy to gain efficiency and accelerate production and fielding.

As of late October 2004, all aircraft ground and flight-testing, including carrier suitability flight-testing and electromagnetic compatibility, had been successfully completed. Fleet installation of that period underway and was expected to be completed by the spring of 2005.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:29:29 ZULU