The E-2C Hawkeye is primarily used as an aerial early warning system and a control center for commanders in battle. The United States Navy employs the E-2C Hawkeye as a carrier-based aircraft for the use of the Joint Force Commander and Carrier Strike Group. The E-2C is also used for search and rescue operations, law enforcement, and communications relays as well as for other assorted missions.
The aircraft’s electronic surveillance systems can detect ground and air threats in advance and provide early warnings. The E-2C Hawkeye’s ability to perform well in darkness and in almost any weather makes it especially useful and reliable in difficult conditions.
Though the E-2C Hawkeye first entered service in 1973, it has received numerous upgrades to keep it up-to-date and operational. Upgraded parts have included radar displays, engines, and propellers as well as the passive and active sensors. Continuous upgrades are expected well into the future for the E-2C Hawkeye.
In 2011, the Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) is expected to enter naval service, but will likely not replace the E-2C completely. The AHE aircraft’s design is based on the E-2C Hawkeye but it will have more advanced radar and an improved threat warning system, target detection, and surveillance capabilities.
Besides the United States, the French Navy, Egyptian Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Japanese Self Defense Air Force, and the Taiwan Air Force all fly the E-2C Hawkeye.
Maximum speed: 338 knots
Cruise speed: 268 knots
Range: 1,300 nautical miles
Length: 57′ 6″
Wingspan: 80′ 7″
Height: 18′ 3.75″
Maximum weight: 54,426 lbs
Engine(s): Two Allison T56-A-427/A turboprop engines (5,100 ESHP each)
Armament: Surveillance equipment and systems only
Contractor: Northrop Grumman
References: Northrop Grumman and the United States Navy