Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced that the US Navy has awarded the company a $49 million Pre-Systems Development and Demonstration (Pre-SD&D) contract for the E-2C Hawkeye Radar Modernisation Program (RMP).
This contract is reportedly the beginning of a development effort, worth more than $1 billion, 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.
Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector’s Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW & EW) systems business unit is the prime contractor.
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.
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 theatre missile defence 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.