The E-2 Hawkeye has been exceptionally game-changing in the US Navy and how the service conducts its battle management command and control since its introduction in the early 1960s. The all-weather, twin-turboprop, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft replaced the previous piston-engine E-1 Tracer, which became rapidly obsolete despite entering service just barely a decade earlier.

Over half-century and a fourth significant version later, the Hawkeye has remained the Navy’s “digital quarterback,” consistently guiding operations and steering net-centric carrier battle groups out of harm’s way.

With this, the US Navy has granted Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract of nearly $50 million for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft engineering and product support services. This renewed funding will sustain the Lot 11 E-2D modification, which will run through February 2027.

aircraft flight test
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft conducts a test flight. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The E-2D is the latest variant of the E-2 AEW aircraft equipped with an advanced radar sensor and more powerful network-centric capabilities than its predecessor, providing unparalleled performance in modern-day action.