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Northrop Grumman awarded $3.2 billion multi-year contract for 24 E-2D aircraft

An E-2D Hawkeye from the "Bluetails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Abraham Lincoln is deployed as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) in support of maritime security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th, U.S. 6th and U.S. 7th Fleet areas of operation. With Abraham Lincoln as the flagship, deployed strike group assets include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG 12), Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON 2), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW 7); as well as Àlvaro de Bazàn-class frigate ESPS Méndez Núñez (F 104). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Singley/Released)

A new contract with the Navy means guaranteed work for the Northrop Grumman facility here in St. Augustine.

In a press release last month, Northrop Grumman announced it had been awarded a multi-year contract modification to deliver an additional 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to the Navy. The fixed-price-incentive-firm contract is valued at $3.2 billion.

The contract also includes an option for nine additional foreign military sales aircraft. Production of the 24 Navy aircraft funded by the five-year contract is expected to be complete in 2026.

According to U.S. Naval Institute News, most of the work on the E-2D will be performed in Melbourne (20 percent), St. Augustine (19 percent) and Syracuse, New York (19 percent).

The E-2D, which is assembled in St. Augustine, is described as “the Navy’s airborne early warning and command and control aircraft system.” The carrier-based aircraft provides expanded battlespace awareness for carrier strike groups.

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Its radar technology allows the E-2D to work with ship-, air- and land-based combat systems to track and defeat air, ship and cruise missiles at extended range. The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination.

“This aircraft continues to demonstrate its strategic value to our warfighters with early warning, command and control,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and integrated product team leader of manned airborne surveillance programs at Northrop Grumman, in the release. “With this contract, we’ll continue production of these highly specialized aircraft while delivering innovative solutions that outpace advancing threats over the life of the fleet.”

Northrop Grumman has delivered 37 E-2D to the Navy to date, completing all major production milestones on time. The company announced a series of capability upgrades for the aircraft. The third upgrade is slated for release in the fall and includes an aerial refueling capability.

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© 2019 The St. Augustine Record, Fla.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.