Web Page sponsored by Blighter Surveillance Systems
16 Oct 14. USN to deploy first five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes in 2015, Key Points:
* USN’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye achieves Initial Operational Capability
* E-2D successfully conducts aerial refueling capability PDR in September
The US Navy’s (USN’s) latest variant of the E-2 airborne early warning aircraft, the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, is now operationally deployable, the navy announced yesterday (16 October).
“The E-2D can detect smaller targets, at longer ranges, over water, in littoral areas, and over land in dense clutter environments, giving significant increases in flexibility and situational awareness … beyond the capabilities of previous variants of the Hawkeye,” Capain John Lemmon, the navy’s E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office manager said in a press statement.
The E-2D is equipped with an AN/APY-9 radar. The radar is more powerful than that of the legacy E-2C Hawkeye, but officials declined to specify its range. The Advanced Hawkeye also boasts a new communications suite and a glass cockpit. The USN is exploring future weapons upgrades to the aircraft, officials have said. The first five aircraft are expected to deploy in 2015 with the VAW-125 Tigertails. The squadron has completed its ‘safe for flight’ transition to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and has begun operating their aircraft with the air wing. VAW-125 is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and deploys from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). In May, Northrop Grumman delivered four more of an initial batch of 25 E-2D aircraft to the USN. In June, the company was awarded a USD3.6bn multi-year contract for another 25 E-2Ds. The navy’s E-2D programme of record is for 75 aircraft, and 15 of those have been delivered to date. There are also 62 legacy E-2Cs operating in the USN and another 28 with the militaries of Egypt, France, Japan, and Taiwan. All USN Hawkeye squadrons are to be equipped with D-model aircraft by 2025, and a phase-out of C-models is expected to begin in 2017, according to navy officials. The USN in September successfully conducted a preliminary design review (PDR) for the Advanced Hawkeye’s aerial refuelling capability. That system was designed and integrated under a USD226.7m engineering, manufacturing, and development contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in 2013. Elements included new seats, formation lights, and enhanced software in the aircraft’s flight control system to assist the pilots and crew with refuelling. Following completion of the next phase of the programme – the critical design review – the capability can be installed on new E-2Ds and retrofitted into the existing fleet, Northrop Grumman said at the time. According to Northrop Grumman, extending the aircraft’s range will be helpful for enhancing maritime security across the vast geography of the Asia-Pacific region as the United States continues to shift military capabilities to that area of operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Oct 14. Next-gen night vision would enable troops to see farther, clearer. The basic technology behind night vision gear has been in place for decades, though advancements in that technology have allowed soldiers to see farther and clearer in the dark. If a new research project meets its goals, that all changes. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is seeking proposals for next-gen night vision goggles, which would be lighter, use more of the infrared spectrum and allow a soldier to share his view with his squadmates digitally. They might even make you healthier. Here’s what you need to know:
*Program basics. The program joined others on a recent DARPA solicitation of small-business proposals. Entitled ‘Next Generation Tactical Wearable Night Vision,’ it’s listed as a U.S. Special Operations Command effort.
*Requirements. The new gear must offer 20/20 vision ‘at clear starli