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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
maximum take-off: 51,569 pounds
Wing span: 81 feet
Length: 58 feet
Height: 18 feet
Weight: empty: 37,678 pounds
Speed: maximum: 374 mph
cruise: 311 mph
Ceiling: 30,800 feet
Range: 200 nautical-mile radius with six hours on station
ferry range: 1,525 nautical miles
Power plant: two Allison T56-A-422 turboprop engines
Crew: five, including equipment operators
Contractor: Grumman Aerospace
Standard Aircraft Characteristics Chart
for an E-2C (includes 3-view drawings)(download in Adobe's
.pdf)The E-2A Hawkeye was designed with one primary mission in
mind: patrolling the approaches to the fleet to detect impending
attack by hostile aircraft, missiles or sea forces. In addition
to this AEW function, the E-2A provided strike and traffic control,
area surveillance, search and rescue guidance, navigational assistance
and communications relay services.
Capable of all-weather carrier operations, the Hawkeye has
great flexibility in assignments owing to its sophisticated electronics
equipment. Its Airborne Tactical Data System (ATDS), consisting
of an auto-detection radar, airborne computers, and a memory and
data link system, is tied to the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS),
located at fleet headquarters, which gives an overall picture
of the tactical situation.
One interesting feature of the E-2 is its 24-foot revolving
radar dish. The dish rotates at six rpm and can be retracted two
feet to facilitate stowage aboard a carrier. The lift produced
by the radar dish when the plane is in flight is sufficient to
offset its own weight.
The first Hawkeyes went to sea aboard USS Kitty Hawk
(CVA 63) with VAW-11 in 1966. Since that time, they have become
a regular part of the fleet's defensive and offensive forces.
The five-man crew consists of two pilots and three equipment
operators. They can monitor a large number of aircraft at any
given time, directing strike aircraft to assigned targets, in
fair weather or foul, while maintaining a watch for hostile forces
within the long range of their radar. Working as a team, the Hawkeyes
surround the fleet with an early warning ring capable of directing
air defenses against any enemy.
The E-2 Hawkeye has been improved since the first E-2A flew
in 1961. Follow-on models include the E-2B and E-2C with advanced
radar, improved computer systems, and expanded surveillance and
command control capability.
The current model operating in the Fleet, the E-2C, is equipped
with radar capable of detecting targets anywhere within a three-million-cubic-mile
surveillance envelope while simultaneously monitoring maritime
traffic. Each E-2C also can maintain all-weather patrols, track,
automatically and simultaneously, more than 600 targets, and control
more than 40 airborne intercepts.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s the E-2C Hawkeye has
supported numerous naval engagements, including the 1985 intercept
of the aircraft containing the hijackers of the liner Achille
Lauro; the strikes against Libya in 1986; and the Persian Gulf
Through carefully planned upgrades, the sensors, communications
and avionics systems have kept pace with increasing tactical requirements.
The latest update, Group II, coupled with a new mission computer
presently under development, will take the Hawkeye well into the
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15 November 2000