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Northrop Grumman completes E-2D Advanced Hawkeye flight test
by Ryan Maass
St. Augustine, Fla. (UPI) Dec 19, 2016

Italian air force receives first two CAEW aircraft
Rome (UPI) Dec 19, 2016 - Israel Aerospace Industries has delivered the first two Conformal Airborne Early Warning & Control System aircraft to the Italian Air Force.

The Conformal Airborne Early Warning & Control System, or CAEW, is an early warning and control system installed on the Gulfstream G550 plane. The aircraft are already in service with air forces in Israel and Singapore. The United States plans to follow Italy in procuring the planes.

The CAEW aircraft were officially delivered to the branch during a ceremony, which Israel Aerospace Industries officials say marked a significant step forward in their program with Italy.

"The system reflects the deep, fruitful collaboration between the Italian and Israeli ministries of defense," Brig. Gen. Daniel Gold said in a press release. "It's both sides understanding of the needs and challenges that stand before the other."

Israel Aerospace Industries was initially contracted for the aircraft in 2012. The planes were developed by IAI subsidiary ELTA Systems, and have been equipped with radar, communications systems, and electronic intelligence systems. The Italian air force planes to enter the aircraft into service in 2017.

"We are proud that this joint development program between IAI, Italian industry, and the Italian Ministry of Defense, has been highly successful and met the challenging schedule," IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss added. "We look forward to continuing this model of international cooperation with additional countries and customers."

Northrop Grumman completed the first flight test for its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with a new aerial refueling capability.

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a battle management command and control aircraft procured by the U.S. Navy with the goal of boosting battlespace awareness. With updated aerial refueling capabilities, company officials and program partners say the plane can provide longer on-station times at greater ranges.

"The Northrop Grumman aerial refueling team continues to put outstanding effort into bringing this much-needed capability to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and our warfighters who rely on it," program manager Capt. Keith Hash said in a press release.

Northrop Grumman was initially contracted to perform engineering, manufacturing and development services for the E-2D's aerial refueling capability in 2013. The company has tested several subsystem upgrades since penning the deal.

"First flight is an exciting day in the journey from concept to an aerial refueling equipped E-2D," Northrop Grumman E-2/C-2 programs vice president Jane Bishop added. "This takes the E-2D to another level, which will bring more combat persistence to the U.S. and our allies."

The company plans to modify three planes with the upgrades, with production cut-in and retrofit scheduled to begin in 2018.

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