by Ryan Maass
St. Augustine, Fla. (UPI) Dec 19, 2016
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.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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