French Navy E-2C Hawkeye carrier-borne AEW aircraft fleet to be upgraded
by Northrop Grumman
a $34.5 million U.S. Navy contract, Northrop Grumman Corporation will
modify the French Navy's fleet of three E-2C Hawkeyes with an upgraded
Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, further increasing commonality
and interoperability with U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
IFF systems enable warfighters to distinguish between friendly forces
and enemies. Included in the upgrade will be the installation of AN/APX-122A
IFF Mode 5/Mode S Interrogators and AN/APX-123 IFF Mode 5/Mode S Transponders.
has a fleet of 3 E-2C Hawkeyes
(Picture: French Navy)
Grumman has had a long and collaborative partnership with the French
Navy, extending back to October 1997," said Bart LaGrone, vice
president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "Through
that partnership, we've observed the proactive and innovative approach
the French Navy takes to maintaining relevancy of its E-2 Hawkeye fleet
The French Navy has been operating the E-2C Hawkeye since 2000 when
it stood up the first French E-2 Hawkeye squadron, the Flotille 4F,
in Lorient. France is the only country other than the United States
to operate its E-2 Hawkeyes from an aircraft carrier. This unique bond
has led to multiple interoperability exercises where the two navies
have operated Hawkeyes from each other's carrier flight decks. The first
of these took place in May 2001 when a U.S. Navy E-2 Hawkeye flew from
the deck of the USS Enterprise to the deck of the French carrier Charles
This shared operational experience has proved invaluable to ensuring
that the multimission E-2 Hawkeye platform remains relevant to the warfighter,
no matter where missions take them. Through collaborative efforts, each
new generation of the Hawkeye has become more sophisticated, taking
advantage of new technology developments to optimize the capability
and reliability of the E-2 platform.
Note: Contacted by Navy Recognition, Northrop Grumman explained
that this contract is for the IFF M5MS (interrogator and transponder)
only. System design and lab testing will be performed in Dayton, OH,
Bethpage, NY, and eventually in Melbourne, FL. The equipment retrofit,
system integration, and ground/flight test will take place in France.
Asked if an E-2C could be upgraded to the E-2D standard, the Northrop
Grumman representative declared such upgrade is technically feasible.
This means that French Navy's E-2C Hawkeyes could one day be upgraded
to the latest "Advanced Hawkeye" standard.