E-2D Advanced Hawkeye’s first flight, ten years ago, on Aug. 3, 2007.
August 3-rd marks the 10-year anniversary of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye’s first flight. The aircraft known as Delta One, took off from the St. Augustine, Florida, airfield piloted by Northrop Grumman Flight Test Pilot Tom Boutin and then-U.S. Navy Flight Test Pilot Lt. Drew Ballinger along with Northrop Grumman Flight Test Lead Weapon Systems Operator Zyad Hajo. Wheels-up was shortly before 11 a.m., and the flight lasted an hour and twenty minutes.
This was a major milestone in a program that launched with the U.S. Navy’s award of the E-2D System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract on Aug. 4, 2003. In addition to delivering a significantly more capable aircraft, the SDD program goals focused on reducing total ownership costs including the use of advanced manufacturing methods, two-level maintenance concepts, and automated systems test capabilities.
In the ten years since the E-2D’s first flight, 30 aircraft have been delivered and two Japanese E-2Ds are approaching their final production phases. A mature aerial refueling test program with production cut-in is planned for 2018 and initial operating capability is planned for 2020. Advanced development work is continually being done to ensure the E-2D remains the most capable airborne early warning , battle management, command, and control aircraft in the world.
The program is seen as a model for success and has produced an aircraft that provides customers the added edge needed to stay ahead of adversaries. Today, the Navy has E-2Ds deployed around the world as men and women continue to fly and maintain the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.