BETHPAGE, N.Y., Nov. 13, 2008 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) E-2D Advanced Hawkeye System has completed its Operational Assessment (OA), flying out of the Northrop Grumman East Coast Manufacturing and Flight Test Center in St. Augustine, Fla. With completion of OA, the flight test program has accumulated more than 600 flight hours, over half involving in-flight radar testing.
"This is another significant milestone for the E-2D program," said Tom Vice, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Eastern Region sector vice president. "This achievement demonstrates the commitment of the Northrop Grumman team to working together with the U.S. Navy to deliver this state-of-the-art weapons system to the warfighter."
Utilizing two test aircraft equipped with fully functioning mission systems, OA was conducted by a U.S. Navy test squadron to assess the potential effectiveness of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye in a mission environment. Successful completion of OA is one of the critical steps the program must go through prior to a U.S. Navy decision on low-rate initial production. The official written report is anticipated to be released by the Navy in late December.
"Since entering flight test in August 2007, the joint Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy Advanced Hawkeye team have been working hard, focusing on preparing for OA," said Jim Culmo, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control Programs for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "We are very pleased that during OA, all test objectives were executed, and we experienced no major system failures. The fact that we had an aircraft availability rate of over 92 percent is a testament to the outstanding teamwork of Northrop Grumman employees, our suppliers and U.S. Navy personnel. I am extremely proud of the fact that we set a date for Operational Assessment over five years ago and have completed yet another major milestone, on schedule, in accordance with our commitment to our customer. With Operational Assessment now complete, and a 'green' rating on Production Readiness, we are definitely on track for a successful Milestone C in 2009."
A key enhancement of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the new AN/APY-9 radar, designed and built by a radar team led by Lockheed Martin representing a two-generation leap in radar technology. The AN/APY-9 can "see" smaller targets and more of them at a greater range than currently fielded radar systems. The new rotodome contains an electronically scanned array that provides critically important, continuous, 360-degree scanning, allowing flight operators to focus the radar on select areas of interest. With its solid-state transmitter, the radar provides significant output power increase and improved reliability.
The E-2D is capable of synthesizing information from multiple onboard and off-board sensors, making complex tactical decisions and disseminating actionable information to joint forces in a distributed, open-architecture environment. By detecting, tracking and defeating theater air missile defense threats at extended range, the Advanced Hawkeye provides the warfighter with expanded battlespace awareness and the required reaction time to deal with emerging threats quickly and accurately.
The program continues to meet or exceed all key performance parameters and, during the past year, has been recognized for its program performance with numerous industry awards, including the Aviation Week Military Laureate Award, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Leroy Grumman Award, NAVAIR Commander's Award for Program Management and Aviation Week's Program Excellence Achievement Award.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Kirsti Dunn Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (301) 373-2388, x2722 Kirsti.firstname.lastname@example.org