Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: E-2C+ Hawkeye and E-2T
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The E-2C Hawkeye is the US Navy carrier-based tactical warning and control aircraft providing early warning and command and control functions to the carrier strike group. Additionally the E-2C carries out surface surveillance, strike and interception control, search and rescue guidance, and communications relay.
The key element of the carrier-based E-2C aircraft is its radar, the AN/APS-145, housed in a 24-foot rotating dome above the fuselage. The command and control equipment also plays a vital role. The aircraft combat debut occurred during the military campaign of Vietnam. The improved E-2C, current model, saw combat for the first time in the mid 1980s during strikes against terrorist bases in Libya.
The first model E-2 was deployed in 1964 replacing the E-1 early warning aircraft aboard the US Navy aircraft carriers. The E-2C, introduced in 1973, working together with AEGIS-equipped warships provide total air mass superiority over the American fleet. In addition to the US Navy, variants of the E-2C Hawkeye are also flown by the Egyptian Air Force, Japan Self Defense Air Force, Royal Singapore Air Force, Taiwan Air Force, Mexican Navy and the French Navy.
The E-2C was deployed successfully during the Gulf War in 1991 directing both air interdiction and combat air patrol missions over Iraq. It supported Operations Northern and Southern Watch over Iraq, and NATO operations over the former Republic of Yugoslavia, including Operation Deny Flight. Recently, in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Hawkeyes provided critical airborne battle management and command and control functions supporting numerous close air support and battlefield air interdiction missions.
In 2004, three former Israel Air Force E-2C aircraft were sold to the Mexican Navy to perform maritime and shore surveillance missions. These aircraft were upgraded locally by IAI. The first Mexican E-2C was rolled out in January 2004.
From summer 2004, the entire US Navy's E-2C fleet was being refitted with the new NP2000 eight-blade propeller which is more efficient, this translates into lower fuel consumption, and more quiet than traditional four-bladed propellers. In addition, NP2000 reduces aircraft vibration achieving a higher degree of flight comfort. E-2C fitted with Hamilton-Sundstrand NP2000 propellers were designated the E-2C+ Hawkeye.
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