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J C Menon

France is to get three E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE aircraft and related equipment from the U.S for an estimated cost of US$2Bn, after the State Department made a determination approving the possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of France, and the Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress.

France also sought to buy 10 T-56-427A engines (six installed and four spares) in addition to three AN/APY-9 radar assemblies among other equipment. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the U.S by helping to the improve security of a NATO ally which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe, a State Department official said. The proposed sale will improve France’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing its Naval Air Forces with a sustainable follow on capability to their current E-2C HAWKEYE aircraft.

The E-2D aircraft will continue and expand French Naval Aviation capabilities and maintain interoperability with U.S. forces because as a current E-2C operator, France will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman Systems Corp, Aerospace Systems, Melbourne, FL.  There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale though any provisions will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the prime contractor.

Step ahead

The E-2D delivers a two-generation leap in radar technology, allowing the aircraft to track threats at extended range while it can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination. The E-2D offers interoperability with next-generation aircraft systems and U.S. Navy allies to support regional security cooperation. According to Northrop Grumman, the E-2D is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control as it gives the warfighter expanded battle-space awareness, especially in the area of information operations, delivering battle management, theatre air and missile defence, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.

With a two-generation leap in radar sensor capability and a robust network enabled capability, the E-2D will deliver critical, actionable, data to joint forces and first responders. These advances provide warfighters with the necessary situational awareness to compress the time between initial awareness and active engagement.