E-2 Hawkeyes in various forms have been in service for 40 years, and Northrop Grumman expects the type to serve for another four decades. The US Navy has used the type more than any other operator and is at the forefront of developing the latest variants.
Hawkeyes have been sold to a number of countries outside the US and are currently in service in Egypt, France, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan. An E-2C from the latter country is pictured, one of 13 in service with 601 Hikotai.
An E-2C of the US Navy’s VAW-120 just prior to touching down on the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman. This view shows the Hamilton Standard NP2000 eight-blade propellers: these are replacing the earlier four-blade version on aircraft currently in service and are being used on the new Hawkeye 2000. The most recent design has been purchased as the previous type is no longer in production. They are more efficient, give less vibration and are less noisy.
Hawkeye 2000 is the name given to the latest E-2C variant. The US Navy has 21 on order and they are the first aircraft type to have a co-operative engagement capability system installed. This variant is most easily identified by a bulge under the fuselage for the latter equipment and a satellite communications antenna on top of the rotodome, just visible in this photograph.
One of the three tactical operators on a Hawkeye from VAW-120, deployed on board the USS John F Kennedy, tracks aircraft over Afghanistan in April 2002. The lightpen he is using to select contacts of interest has been replaced by a trackball in the Hawkeye 2000.
A cutaway of the E-2D, the latest variant of the Hawkeye now under construction. The US Navy is intending to order 75 of these aircraft, scheduled to reach initial operational capability in 2011.