ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Nov. 14, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is hosting the fifth annual International Hawkeye Users Conference November 13-15 at its manufacturing center here. The group was addressed by St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner.
The company annually brings together members of the air forces and navies of Egypt, France, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States to share lessons-learned and to learn about new capabilities and improvements planned for the world's fleet of Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning and battle management aircraft. Together, these nations operate over 100 E-2C Hawkeyes, by far the most widely used aircraft of its type in the world.
"Each year at this meeting, Northrop Grumman gains significant new insight into the needs of our customers and the creative applications they've developed during their day-to-day Hawkeye operations," said Tom Vice, vice president of Airborne Early Warning programs for Northrop Grumman. "The free and open dialogue that takes place here helps us, and them, to make Hawkeye an even more powerful battle management, homeland defense and command and control system."
"The event is a forum for the beneficial exchange of information and ideas between the Navy, Northrop Grumman Corporation and current country customers," said Capt. Randy Mahr, Hawkeye Program Manager.
Outside of the U.S. Navy, Japan has been flying Hawkeyes the longest, having received the first of its 13 in 1982. Mexico, the newest operator, procured its three aircraft in 2002.
France is the only nation other than the United States that flies its Hawkeyes from an aircraft carrier, operating its three E-2C's from the deck of the Charles de Gaulle. France took delivery of its first Hawkeye in 1998.
"From the French part, the Hawkeye responds perfectly to the needs a modern navy should expect. The perfect interoperability, not only with the French Navy fleet but also with the U.S. Navy coalition, is the vivid example of the utilization of this aircraft in the treatment of current worldwide conflicts," said Cdr. Marc de Landtsheer, the French Navy's E-2C Hawkeye program manager. "The French Navy wishes to stay compatible, as far as possible, with the U.S. Navy's aircraft configurations and this aspect is really achievable not only from the operational point of view but also from the logistic and engineering approaches the two navies could take. Actually, the goal is not to have a customer-contractor basic relationship but, more, a real partnership towards the development of our common future."
Hawkeyes, originally designed for a maritime airborne early warning mission, have grown in capability and breadth of usage over the years. Hawkeyes are becoming the airborne hub of national defense networks. For example, today's Hawkeyes not only deliver real-time information and battle management services to fleets, but also to soldiers on the ground. Beyond defense, the Hawkeye has received public praise for its management of rescue efforts during national emergencies like Katrina, which devastated the southeastern coast of the United States.
Continuing a history of technology insertion and capability expansion, Northrop Grumman has been developing the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, which is an all-new airborne battle management system, since 2001 and will unveil the first test aircraft in the spring of 2007. The E-2D will be the key airborne node in the U.S. Navy's future warfighting architecture named FORCEnet. The E-2D will maintain and enhance the legacy of allied interoperability during joint exercises.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 29 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: John A. Vosilla Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (516) 575-5119 John.Vosilla@ngc.com