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Pentagon awards $3.2 billion contract for Navy Hawkeye aircraft

An E-2D Hawkeye from the "Bluetails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt Herbst/U.S. Navy)

The Navy has awarded defense contractor Northrop Grumman a $3.2-billion contract to deliver 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.

The five-year, fixed-price contract, announced by the Pentagon on Wednesday, covers work on the airborne early warning aircraft through 2026.

The contract also includes an option for nine additional foreign military sales aircraft, according to a Northrup Grumman statement. The State Department cleared Japan to obtain nine additional E-2Ds, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement in September. Japan currently has four of the planes.

Under the current program, the company has delivered 37 E-2Ds to the U.S. Navy, the Northrop Grumman statement said.

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The company is also contracted to deliver a series of capability upgrades. The third upgrade is slated for this fall and includes an aerial refueling capability to extend the aircraft’s endurance.

The carrier-based E-2D provides expanded battlespace awareness for carrier strike groups, area surveillance, search and rescue guidance and navigational assistance, among other roles, according to a U.S. Navy fact sheet.

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© 2019 the Stars and Stripes

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