Northrop Grumman Teams E-2D Hawkeye with Unmanned Robotic Aircraft

The Navy Northrop Grumman E-2D is a tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft that operates from aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy is asking Northrop Grumman for design and software upgrades for the E-2D carrier-based early warning aircraft to enable it to team with UAVs. Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station are reportedly eyeing upgrades to the E-2D mission and display software to support “manned/unmanned teaming” (MUM-T).  MUM-T entails “synchronized use of human warfighters, manned and unmanned aircraft, robotics, and sensors to achieve enhanced situational awareness, lethality, and survivability.”

MUM-T enables live sharing of video and still images from UAV sensors. A 6-month contract with Northrop Grumman is the first phase of the project. The Hawkeye is 58 feet long, has an 80-foot wingspan, a speed of 300+ knots, and can reach an altitude of 37.000 feet. The French Navy currently operates three E-2C Haweyes from its sole aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle. Northrup Grumman flight shot; image of wings folded courtesy of the French Navy.  See the E-2D, “The quarterback in the sky,” in flight here.  For details, please contact Northrop Grumman.