E-2D Advanced Hawkeye cleared for full-rate production
US Naval Air Systems Command has announced that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has passed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) report, with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 declaring the aircraft ‘suitable and effective’. This aided the Defense Acquisition Board's approval of the E-2D for full-rate production in January.
The IOT&E saw the aircraft’s prospective mission performance evaluated, with flight data collected at several locations and during Red Flag and Black Dart aerial combat training exercises. The aircraft’s readiness for fleet introduction – scheduled for 2015 – was also assessed. VX-1 conducted the testing according to current programme System Design Development (SDD) requirements.
Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Harkins, VX-1 operational test director, said the aircraft performed ‘phenomenally’ during testing, with the aircraft showing an increase in combat effectiveness due to the E-2D’s ability to track small fighter size targets in difficult environments. The data showed significant improvements in radar and mission systems performance in overland and littoral scenarios.
Capt. John S. Lemmon, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) program manager, said: ‘This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work. The E-2D team came together with one vision and goal, and the IOT&E report confirms that we are delivering a solid product to the fleet.
‘As we push towards fleet introduction, our programme office team stays passionate about our work and committed to the mission. We genuinely care about what we do and the product we are delivering to the fleet.’
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in 2015.
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