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France plans to buy three Northrop Grumman-made E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE aircraft to provide advanced radar capability to the country’s air defence fleets. The French government has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the US administration signifying their intent to purchase the E-2D, which allows the US Navy to begin contracting activities with Northrop Grumman for production of the aircraft. The signed LOA secures the sale that will include:

  • three E-2D aircraft
  • nonrecurring engineering
  • spares
  • repairs and support equipment
  • training and follow-on support

The anticipated contract award will be in 2022 with aircraft delivered to France in 2028 at the latest.

Janice Zilch, Vice President, Manned Airborne Surveillance Programmes at Northrop Grumman, said, “The procurement of the E-2D ADVANCED HAWKEYE will provide France [with] a generational leap in capability for unparalleled situational awareness for their air defence fleets.”

The French Navy has been operating the E-2C HAWKEYE since 1998 and is the only country other than the US to operate its E-2s from an aircraft carrier. This capability enables interoperability exercises that support HAWKEYES from each other’s carrier flight decks. With the US Navy’s fleet transition to E-2D squadrons, the French Navy intends to maintain interoperability and partnership by taking steps to procure three E-2D aircraft.

The E-2D is the US Navy’s premier airborne command and control aircraft for all targets and all environments. It delivers advanced radar capability for unmatched detection and tracking. Additionally, it provides 360 degree simultaneous air and maritime surveillance, enabling nations to protect sea lanes, monitor coastlines and support civilian emergency coordination operations. The E-2D is a force multiplier for interoperability, reciprocal information sharing and commonality across the battle force.

J C Menon