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Northrop Grumman’s E-2C Hawkeye is a carrier-capable “mini-AWACS” aircraft, designed to give long-range warning of incoming aerial threats. Secondary roles include strike command and control, land and maritime surveillance, search and rescue, communications relay, and even civil air traffic control during emergencies. E-2C Hawkeyes began replacing previous Hawkeye versions in 1973. They fly from USN and French carriers, from land bases in the militaries of Egypt, Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan; and in a drug interdiction role for the US Naval Reserve. Over 200 Hawkeyes have been produced.
The $17.5 billion E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program aims to build 75 new aircraft with significant radar, engine, and electronics upgrades in order to deal with a world of stealthier cruise missiles, saturation attacks, and a growing need for ground surveillance as well as aerial scans. It looks a lot like the last generation E-2C Hawkeye 2000 upgrade on the outside – but inside, and even outside to some extent, it’s a whole new aircraft.
From E-2A Hawkeyes to the E-2D
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The Hawkeye is based on the same airframe as the USA’s C-2 Greyhound cargo aircraft, with the obvious addition of the 24 foot diameter, frisbee-shaped, rotating radome on its back. It carries a crew of 5 – pilot, copilot, and 3 mission system operators.
The first E-2A was delivered in 1964, the first E-2B upgrade in 1969, and as noted above, the first true “second generation” E-2C Hawkeye was delivered in 1973. In 1992, an E-2C Block II update program added the AN/APS-145 and L-304 radar systems; improved Rolls Royce T56-A-427 engines; JTIDS, Link-4A, -11, and 16 datalinks; GPS capability; and various avionics, and electronics upgrades. It finished in 2001. By 2003, Hawkeyes were proving their worth over Iraq in a new capacity: close air support. Smithsonian Air & Space magazine’s July 2008 issue discusses:
“The Hawkeye, of course, wasn’t designed for close air support, but time and again during the fighting in the Gulf, ground troops advanced so rapidly that they passed beyond radio contact with the units that were supposed to coordinate close air support for them. Early on in Iraq, E-2s were pressed into a stopgap role as airborne communications relays between ground forces and the U.S. Army’s Air Support Operations Center. But because the battleground was so fluid and so many airplanes had to be re-routed so quickly, Hawkeyes were given more latitude to pair warfighters with targets. “If the Hawkeye hadn’t been there, I think the [Air Support Operations Center] would have failed,” says Lieutenant Commander Brent Trickel, an E-2 naval flight officer who served as the Navy’s only officer in the Air Support Operations Center during the first few weeks of the war.”
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Technology moves quickly, however, and technology that was cutting edge in 1992 isn’t so cutting edge any more. A subsequent upgrade called the Hawkeye 2000 (HE2K) added the 8-bladed NP2000 propeller, replaced the old computer platform that was inhibiting further modernization with commercial-standard computer component upgrades; and added associated electronics, power, and maintainability modifications, including integrated satellite communications. All of these upgrades pale, however, in comparison to the effectiveness boost offered by adding Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC). With CEC, the Hawkeye can see everything the ships in its task group can see – and vice-versa, turning the aircraft into a force multiplier to all ships in the group and even enabling ballistic missile defense roles.
Hawkeye 2000 aircraft were first deployed in 2003 aboard USS Nimitz, and additional customers have included Egypt, France, Japan & Taiwan (The UAE submitted a formal request in 2002, but later decided to put its money elsewhere).
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The next-generation, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is planned as a major platform upgrade, rather than the incremental improvements of Hawkeye 2000. Cruise missiles are becoming stealthier, smaller targets are becoming important, and surveillance in coastal areas and overland is as important to the Navy as aerial surveillance.
The most important improvement to the E-2D AHE is the new APY-9 radar, which can detect and track smaller (or stealthier) targets, in larger numbers, and at greater ranges. It has been described as a 2-generation improvement over previous Hawkeye aircraft. Figures discussed to date involve up to 2,000 targets over 6 million cubic miles, on land and sea. The electronically scanned array offers improved in-service time and maintenance, allows simultaneous air/ground scans with extremely fast focusing on multiple targets, and features lower ‘sidelobe’ leakage, as well as other improvements. Improved clutter & interference cancellation offer significant improvement in tracking small land and sea targets, as well as better performance against electronic jamming. Additional features allow the radar to flip from 3660 degree scan, to 45 degree focused scan, to full power on one target mode against intermittent or stealthy contacts.
The E-2D’s internal equipment also gets a makeover. ESM (Electronic Support Measures) and IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) systems offer improved classification of radar contacts at longer ranges. The communications suite is modernized to include dual-band SATCOM (SATellite COMmunications), as well as improved datalinks. Engines are improved. In-flight refueling capability for longer missions on-station is part of the basic aircraft, not an option. Etc.
E-2D vs. E-2C
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Like any electronic system, however, the E-2D needs an improved interface in order to take advantage of its full capabilities. New mission computers and tactical workstations use commercial off-the-shelf components, providing more power to integrate incoming information into a coherent picture, and easier future upgrades. More to the point, the onscreen interface features dramatic improvements, including larger displays and advances in the front seats that allow the pilot or copilot to participate as 4th mission system operator once the aircraft is on station. The cockpit itself has also received attention, and has been fully modernized with an “all glass” (i.e. screens, not dials) system and a number of enhancements.
The end result is an aircraft that looks a lot like the E-2C Hawkeye 2000, but can scan larger areas for smaller targets; offers a new dimension in coverage by combining strong aerial, maritime, coastal, and land surveillance; can function as an integral part of missile defense efforts against both cruise and ballistic missiles; and allows operators to make better use of its capabilities.
Advances have also taken place on the manufacturing floor. When Northrop Grumman was awarded the system development and demonstration contract for the Advanced Hawkeye in 2003, the company chose to change its manufacturing approach. Engineers created a virtual design environment that integrated the engineering team in Bethpage, NY with the manufacturing team in St. Augustine, FL. They then began to re-engineer the structure, beginning with single detail parts.
In previous Hawkeye platforms, individual sheet-metal components were the basis for all structural assemblies. For the E-2D, a number of substructures were re-designed as machined components. This removes many detail parts, improves the production process, and leaves fewer potential points of failure in the finished aircraft.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: Program
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The US Navy remains the E-2D’s only confirmed customer at this point, but export interest has already been expressed by the UAE and by India. As of April 2011, all 5 test & pilot production E-2Ds had been delivered, and aircraft #10 had begun construction.
Initial operational capability was scheduled for 2011, and the type’s first carrier launch and landing did take place in February 2011, but testing and evaluation lags forced IOC back to October 2014.
As of 2013, an R&D program is underway to add in-flight refueling capability, but that development program will run to 2019.
Full Operational Capability is now scheduled for 2023, when a total of 75 aircraft (2 test, 3 pilot production, 70 operational) will have been delivered as the cornerstone of future US naval surveillance.
At present, total E-2D program cost has risen 40.6% over the original baseline figure of $14.752 billion FY 2012 dollars. The Pentagon’s April 2012 SAR (Selected Acquisition Report) placed the E-2D’s entire program cost, including R&D, production of all aircraft, internal equipment, and equipment required for initial fielding, at $20.737 billion. That works out to $276.5 million per aircraft, up from $196.7 million. Part of the reason for these high figures is that the number bought is only 75, so R&D adds a lot of money per-plane. Part of it is because AWACS aircraft of any type are expensive assets, thanks to all of the advanced radars, electronics etc. crammed into them.
Finally, part of it is because of deliberate buying decisions by Congress & the Pentagon, which eliminated a money-saving multi-year buy, and slowed production to stretch budgets, in a program that was performing well. Stretching programs out always costs more money, because every year you extend a production program is another year of all its fixed costs.
Annual budgets to date include:
FY 2010 R&D may seem high, given a program in Lot 2 production. It included testing, replacing communication components, improving operator workstations, incorporating a Multi-level Security Open Architecture, and correction of electronics system obsolescence. That last item is always a hazard for the larger Hawkeye fleet. It can even affect weapons development projects, in an era where 5 years is a very long time for electronics, but 10 years is a short time for a major development program.
FY 2011 RDT&E focused on flight and other testing, trainers, and work on the new Mode 5/S IFF(Identification, Friend or Foe) system.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye: Contracts & Key Events
Unless otherwise specified, US Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD manages these contracts, and Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Corp. in Bethpage, NY, is the contractor.
DOT&E continues to report technical issues, esp. CEC; Program production cut over medium term, despite multi-year deal.
NGC on E-2D
March 4/14: FY15 Budget. The USN unveils their preliminary budget request briefings. They aren’t precise, but they do offer planned purchase numbers for key programs between FY 2014 – 2019. The E-2D continues to be a target for cuts. Despite a multi-year deal for 32 planes and 5 options from FY 2014 – 2018, the current budget aims to cut 7 planes from that base by ordering just 4 in FY15 (-1), 5 in FY16 (-1), 6 in FY17 (-2), 5 in FY18 (-3), and then 5 in FY19. Yet the Navy says that:
“The E-2D combined with the SM-6 missile, Cooperative Engagement Capability and the AEGIS combat system is a key component of Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA), enabling use of the missile at its maximum kinetic range. The E-2D will ensure the “eyes” of the nation’s sea-based strike capability remain focused on emerging threat systems.”
It’s hard to reconcile the words with the consistent actions. Near-term reductions might make sense on technical grounds (q.v. Jan 17/13, Jan 28/14), but cuts 3 and 4 years out tell a different story. Sources: USN, PB15 Press Briefing [PDF].
March 4/14: Testing. Lockheed Martin Corp. in Liverpool, NY receives a $16.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for specialized test equipment and associated technical data packages and adapters required to perform testing of E-2D AN/APY-9 radar system LRMs (line replacement module “black boxes”).
All funds are committed immediately, using USN FY12 aircraft budgets. Work will be performed in Liverpool, NY, and is expected to be complete in February 2017. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1, and is managed by the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ (N68335-14-C-0145).
Jan 28/14: DOT&E Testing Report. The Pentagon releases the FY 2013 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). The entry focuses on the USG-3B Cooperative Engagement Capability module used in E-2D naval AWACS aircraft. Bottom line: it’s worse than the USG-3 carried by its E-2C predecessors. UGS-3B is operationally suitable (maintaiable), but not operationally effective.
Key problems include misalignments that make it hard to depend on consistent object tracking between platforms (which is CEC’s core purpose). In a similar vein, the system has an issue with dual tracks for single objects that’s well above normal. There are also integration problems with the mission computer, and EM interference problems that affect the radar altimeter. The problems were persistent enough that the Navy has decoupled CEC testing from the E-2D’s own IOT&E evaluation as a new platform.
Oct 27/13: Testing. At the US Navy’s Trident Warrior 2013 demonstration, Super Hornet fighters simulated the launch of an AGM-154C-1 JSOW precision glide bomb, while the E-2D directed the imaginary weapon toward the positively identified target, and received status updates from the “weapon.” In effect, they made the E-2D itself an offensive weapon.
This mirrors a 2009 simulation involving a JSOW C-1 with a Navy P-3 Orion and USAF E-8C JSTARS battlefield surveillance aircraft. Sources: Raytheon, Oct 27/13 release.
Multi-Year deal for 32 + 5 options; FRP-1 orders; Development order for in-flight refueling capability; Testing has some gaps, but good enough for full production; Exports update.
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Sept 27/13: Refueling. A $226.7 million cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to design, develop, install, test, and document an In-flight Refueling capable E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. $8.6 million is committed immediately.
The aerodynamics of in-flight refueling for a plane like the E-2D will be a challenge for NGC engineers, but extending the aircraft’s range would be a very big payoff. USN test squadron VX-20 has been conducting limited scope test flights over the past couple of years, in order to identify potential risks. Aerial refueling would be a nice foundation for a Block II/ Increment 2 variant, and NGC has also been working on improving the Standard Automatic Flight Control System (SAFCS) to assist the pilots when refueling. New seats whose adjustments can address pilot field-of-view and crew fatigue are a minor development with a strong payoff, and NGC’s proposed formation lights certainly have their uses as well.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (64%); St. Augustine, FL (21%); Irvine, CA (3.7%); Endicott, NY (2.7%); Ronkonkoma, NY (1.6%); Bohemia, NY (1%); and various locations throughout the United States (6%), and is expected to be complete in January 2019. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1 (N00019-13-C-0135). See also Northrop Gruman, “Northrop Grumman Awarded $226.7 Million for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye In-Flight Refueling”.
R&D to add in-flight refueling
Sept 17/13: An $11.7 million for firm-fixed-price delivery order orders the design, development, first article, and production units for 10 pieces of support equipment unique to the E-2D (PSE); and the procurement of 29 pieces of existing PSE items. All funds are committed immediately from FY 2011 procurement budgets.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY, and is expected to be complete in March 2016. The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ manages the contract (N68335-10-G-0021, #0009).
Aug 28/13: FRP-1. A $31.4 million firm-fixed-price contract modification buys engineering support for E-2D Full Rate Production Lot 1. All funds are committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (29.88%); St. Augustine, FL (24.38%); Bethpage, NY (12.64%); Greenlawn, NY (10.21%); Woodland Hills, CA (8.2%); El Segundo, CA (6.99%); Menlo Park, CA (4.5%); and various locations within the United States (3.2%); and is expected to be complete in September 2016 (N00019-12-C-0063).
July 24/13: FRP-1. A $617.1 million modification finalizes the 5-plane Full Rate Production Lot 1 advance acquisition contract into a firm-fixed-price contract. All funds are committed immediately.
Total announced contracts under FRP-1 have reached $855.8 million (q.v. Feb 1/12, April 24/13, June 4/13, June 27/13, Aug 28/13), or $171.6 million per plane.
The E-2D was cleared for FRP on Feb 8/13. Work will be performed in St. Augustine, FL (24.90%); Syracuse, NY (20.59%); Bethpage, NY (7.60%); El Segundo, CA (4.56%); Indianapolis, IN (4.6%); Menlo Park, CA (3.90%); Rolling Meadows, IL (2.3%), and approximately 200 various locations within the United States (TL 32.1%) that are individually under 5% (N00019-12-C-0063).
FRP-1: 5 E-2Ds
July 2/13: FRP-2. $113.7 million in advance contracts for FRP Lot 2 long lead materials and related support, which will cover 5 aircraft. The Pentagon announced it as a $9.3 million option, which may be true initially, and $9.3 million is committed immediately. Northrop Grumman gave the maximum figure. This award also changes the FRP-2 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price contract.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (36.9%); Bethpage, NY (15.6%); El Segundo, CA (7.8%); Chicago, IL (7.4%); Menlo Park, CA (7.1%); Indianapolis, IN (6.8%); Cleveland, Ohio (3.3%); Aire-Sur-L’Adour, France (2.6%); Owego, NY (2.4%); Torrance, CA (2.1%); Edgewood, NY (1.7%); Falls Church, VA (1.4%); and various locations throughout the United States (4.9%); and is expected to be complete in March 2014 (N00019-13-C-9999).
NGC says that total E-2D procurement, including low-rate initial production and full-rate production aircraft, now stands at 30. The USN received its 10th E-2D in June, with another 10 in various stages of manufacture and testing. 2015 remains the expected date for Initial Operational Capability with the U.S. Navy. NGC.
June 27/13: Support. A $32.3 million delivery order to provide spares in support of FRP Lot 1′s 5 ordered E-2Ds. All funds are committed immediately.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (37.8%); Indianapolis, IN (23.1%); Bethpage, NY (13.7%); Woodland Hills, CA (6.7%); Greenlawn, NY (3.4%); Marlborough, Mass. (1.9%); Tustin, CA (1.8%); Rockford, IL (1.4%); Falls Church, VA (1.3%); Garden City, NY (1.1%); and other locations within the United States (7.8%), and is expected to be completed in December 2016 (N00019-10-G-0004).
June 4/13: Saved for later. On FBO.gov, NAVAIR announces their intent to give Northrop Grumman a Cost Plus Incentive Fee contract under a “Post Initial Operational Capability” solicitation. The E-2D’s planned IOC date is October 2014, and the contract involves adding an Installation Data Package for adding Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) Chat, Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Accelerated Mid-Term Interoperability Improvement Program (AMIIP). That will allow retrofits of existing aircraft, and installation in production models.
Northrop Grumman will manage the set as a single entity, but each separate capability may be delivered separately and incorporated into the most appropriate E-2D DSSC software build.
June 4/13: Support. A $17.1 million contract modification for additional product, fleet, and engineering investigations support for the 5 planes in Full Rate Production Lot 1.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (81.94%); Norfolk, VA (8.98%); Syracuse, NY (3.71%); Indianapolis, IN (3.32%); and St. Augustine, FL (2.05%), and work is expected to be complete in June 2014. All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2013 budgets (N00019-12-C-0063).
June 4/13: Support. A not-to-exceed $7.5 million delivery order for the repair of 43 line items on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye System. All funds are committed immediately, using FY 2013 budgets. This is a sole-source contract in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), and is managed by NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support in Philadelphia, PA (N00383-12-G-034G, 07192).
May 31/13: R&D. A $12.8 million delivery order modification, to conduct in-flight refueling risk reduction trade studies for the E-2D (N00019-10-G-0004).
Seems a little late for those – wasn’t that supposed to be a standard feature? We’re asking NAVAIR.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (67%); Endicott, NY (12.6%); Irvine, Calif. (10%); Bohemia, NY (3.8%); Ronkonkoma, NY (3.6%); Windsor Locks, CT (2%); St. Augustine, FL (.8%); and Stanford, CT (.2%), and is expected to be completed in September 2013. Fiscal 2013 Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, Navy contract funds in the amount of $12,808,636 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.
April 24/13: Software. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Bethpage, NY receives a $23 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for software sustainment of Full Rate Production Lot 1 aircraft. This delivery order provides all aspects of software management support, including the update and maintenance through the life cycle support. Test reports say the E-2D has some significant software issues (vid. Jan 17/13 entry), so there’s no shortage of things to do.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (86.5%); Syracuse, NY (9.7%); Marlborough, MA (1.3%); Greenlawn, NY (1.3%), and Woodland Hills, CA (1.2%), and is expected to be complete in October 2014. FY 2011 and 2012 Aircraft Procurement funds are being used, and the entire amount is committed immediately. $14.5 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13 (N00019-10-G-0004).
April 10/13: FY 2014 Budget. The President releases a proposed budget at last, the latest in modern memory. The Senate and House were already working on budgets in his absence, but the Pentagon’s submission is actually important to proceedings going forward.
The FY 2014 request proposes a multi-year agreement (MYP) for 32 E-2Ds, plus options on another 5 from FY 2014-2018, leaving 18 planes left to buy. If the Navy exercises its MYP options in FY 2015-2016, it could bring full-rate production to a steady rate of 8 planes per year. The Navy is estimating MYP savings of $522.8 million over 5 separate annual contracts. About 30% of that is attributable to electronic components whose minimum buy quantities can’t be met under single year procurements, which makes their cost artificially high unless bought in a multi-year deal.
Note that Navy budget documents show the E-2D as a 114-plane program, a figure that must count a number of E-2C 2000 buys. A careful look at actual E-2D orders and schedules confirms that it remains a 75 plane program.
March 28/13: GAO Report. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs“. Which is actually a review for 2012, plus time to compile and publish. The assessment notes that the Navy has stretched production out in order to “save” annual funds, but will pay $1.3 billion more in total – nearly double the March 30/12 SAR’s figure. That might be reduced a bit if the program gets a 32-38 plane multi-year buy approved for FY 2014 – 2018.
On the good news front, the E-2D remains a low-drama program, and the long-standing issue of radar reliability (vid. Jan 17/13 entry) has improved and reached the test plan requirement.
Feb 8/13: FRP. US NAVAIR says that the E-2D has been cleared for Full Rate Production by the Pentagon.
NAVAIR added that their own VX-1 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron had declared the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye “suitable and effective” in their Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) report.
Feb 7/13: Exports. A report in Shephard’s UV Online says that India, Malaysia, and the UAE have all been approved for E-2D exports by the US government. Which is not the same thing as saying that all 3 are negotiating contracts.
Northrop Grumman has responded to India’s RFI for a fixed-wing carrier-based AEW platform, to complement its Ka-31 heliborne AEW. The request is a bit odd, because Indian carriers won’t have catapults, but it is just an RFI. Northrop Grumman continues to promote the E-2D in India.
The UAE has issued a full RFP, after establishing an initial AEW&C capability with an interim order of Saab’s S340-AEW Erieye turboprops. The E-2D is expected to compete against an order of more Saab systems, and against Boeing’s E-737 AEW&C.
Jan 17/13: DOT&E testing. The Pentagon releases the FY 2012 Annual Report from its Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E). The E-2D is included, and it has generally performed well in over 600 hours of carrier and land-based Initial Operator Testing & Evaluation (IOT&E) from February – September 2012. The aircraft demonstrated improvements over the E-2C, but a few key gaps remain.
Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is the biggest gap. It’s supposed to create a single picture, based on inputs from other ships, planes, etc. Instead, it was creating multiple tracks for the same object, and had to be decoupled from other testing. New software loads have been added, and renewed CEC testing began in October 2012, but CEC and full Theater Air & Missile Defense (TAMD) capability won’t be fully tested now until 2015.
The radar and software combination also has a serious problem with tracks. The automated system sometimes swaps labels when tracks get too close, which can be a fatal error. This problem had shown up in previous developmental testing, but IOT&E went ahead anyway. The problem became so serious that operators must now manually label tracks. Obviously, in any stressful environment with many tracks, that’s going to fall apart. Overland reliability in all situations, and radar reliability (vid. March 30/12 entry), were also cited by DOT&E, albeit without specifics.
The final gap is maintenance and training. A maintenance training system for the E-2D won’t be delivered until July 2013, and the E-2D integrated simulator wasn’t available for IOT&E, either.
Dec 28/12: Unplanned Obsolescence. Northrop Grumman Corp., Integrated Systems, Bethpage, NY, is being awarded a $34.3 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for “obsolescent component redesign” of the E-2D’s mission computer and displays, integrated navigation and control display system, and network file system systems. Once again, we see the phenomenon of key computing components that become outdated and/or unavailable before a major US weapon system can even reach Initial Operational Capability.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (49%); Woodland Hills, CA (20%); Marlborough, MA (21%); Redwood City, CA (8%), and at various locations within the United States (2%), and is expected to be complete in December 2014. All contract funds are committed immediately, and $8.5 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/13. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD, is the contracting activity (N00019-10-G-0004).
LRIP-4 contract; FRP-1 lead-in; program evaluations.
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Sept 27/12: Support. A $15 million cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a fixed-price-incentive-fee contract for additional E-2D system engineering and software maintenance for Production Lot 1 and 2 aircraft.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY, and is expected to be complete in May 2015. All contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/12 (N00019-08-C-0027).
Sept 27/12: Spares. An $8.4 million firm-fixed-price delivery order modification, to provide spares for 10 E-2D Low Rate Initial Production Lots 3 and 4 aircraft.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (51.3%); Bethpage, NY (13%); Owego, NY (7.1%); Greenlawn, NY (6.3%); Woodland Hills, CA (6.1%); West Chester, OH (4.2%); North Hollywood, CA (3.0%); Marlborough, MA (2.3%); Horsham, PA (1.6%); New Port Richey, FL (1.6%), and various other locations in the United States (3.5%); and is expected to be complete in October 2015 (N00019-10-G-0004).
April 27/12: Spares. A $31.4 million firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement for spare components of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye low rate initial production, Lots 3 and 4 – which is to say, 10 planes.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (54%); El Segundo, CA (9.6%); Bethpage, NY (5.1%); Greenlawn, NY (4.4%); Owego, NY (3.8%); West Chester, Ohio (3.4%); Woodland Hills, CA (3.2%); Irvine, CA (3.5%); Marlborough, MA (2.1%); Bayshore, NY (1.8%); Cleveland, Ohio (1.3%); Davenport, Iowa (1.3%); North Hollywood, CA (1.1%); Horsham, Pa. (0.9%); Rome, Italy (0 .7%); New Port Richey, FL (0.5%); and various other locations in the United States (3.3%). Work is expected to be completed in August 2016 (N00019-10-G-0004).
April 27/12: Electronics. A $15.3 million firm-fixed-price order to buy, store and deliver 146 E-2D avionic units under test.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (53%); Greenlawn, NY (11%); Bethpage, NY (8%); Woodland Hills, CA (7%); Marlborough, MA (5%); West Chester, Ohio (4%); Falls Church, Va. (3%); Ronkonkoma, NY (3%); Rome, Italy (3%); New Port Richey, FL (2%); and Indianapolis, Ind. (1%). Work is expected to be completed in April 2016 (N00019-10-G-0004).
March 30/12: Good GAO review. The US GAO tables its “Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs” for 2012. The E-2D program is #13 on the list of highest cost programs to complete, at $11.3 billion. That hasn’t been because of poor program performance, though – a “should cost” analysis helped them negotiate a 4.5% reduction in its 3rd production contract. The GAO sees the E-2D’s technologies as mature, and its design and manufacturing processes as stable. Overall development costs are up 18% from the 2003 baseline to $4.53 billion, and costs are up because of buying decisions, but the remaining technical issues are pretty minor:
“[E-2D testing is done, but] Some development test points related to the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) remain to be completed… because of late deliveries from the CEC program… The E-2D program reported the current radar reliability rate is 71 hours. The radar must achieve a rate of 81 hours prior to the decision to enter full-rate production, which is scheduled for December 2012. DOD test organizations expressed some concern about whether the radar will be able to meet some reliability and performance measures… [but] initial results from a test exercise conducted in November partially addressed the performance concerns, according to an official at a DOD test organization.”
March 30/12: SAR – Congress costs. The Pentagon’s Selected Acquisitions Report ending Dec 31/11 includes the E-2D. The short version: costs are going up because of Congress. They still plan to buy the same 75 planes, just less frugally or intelligently:
“Program costs increased $2,279.3 million (+12.4%) from $18,457.9 million to $20,737.2 million, due primarily to an affordability-driven stretch-out of the procurement buy profile (i.e., movement of 12 aircraft over multiple years) and the addition of two production lots from FY 2012 to FY 2021 (+$780.6 million). The addition of two production lots also increased other support (+$294.7 million). There were further increases due to the removal of projected savings from cancellation of the FY 2014-2018 multi-year procurement (+$651.6 million), the application of revised escalation indices (+$224.6 million), a revised estimate for In-Flight Refueling (+$208.9 million), and increases due to capability enhancements for Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) Chat, E-2D Hawkeye Integrated Fire Control Training, Long Range Tracking, and Counter Electronic Attack (+$161.2 million).”
It’s common for defense programs that are performing well to end up paying for programs that are performing poorly, by being subject to stretch-outs and/or cuts. Unfortunately, the E-2D is a good example.
SAR – how Congress adds costs
March 30/12: Support. A $22.9 million firm-fixed-price order will buy: avionics source data consisting of detailed functional description document packages; development of systems synthesis modeling reports for 34 units under test; and 392 pieces of organizational “O” level support equipment for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY, and is expected to be complete in June 2015. The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ manages this contract (N68335-10-G-0021).
Feb 1/12: FRP-1 lead-in. A maximum $157.9 million advance acquisition contract for long lead material etc., in order to support 5 E-2Ds in FY 2013′s Full Rate Production Lot 1. FRP-1 was planned at 7 aircraft, but the eventual plan is reduced to the 5 planes covered here.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (32.6%); Bethpage, NY (15.5%); Dallas, TX (12.4%); Menlo Park, CA (9.8%); Woodland Hills, CA (6%); and various other locations within the United States (23.7%) into March 2013. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1 (N00019-12-C-0063).
Jan 24/12: LRIP-4 contract. A $781.5 million contract modification for 5 FY 2012/ LRIP(low rate initial production) Lot 4 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (25.36%); Bethpage, NY (25.10%); St. Augustine, FL (19.3%); El Segundo, CA (5.34%); Indianapolis, IN (4.84%); Menlo Park, CA (4.64%); Rolling Meadows, IL (2.50%); and various locations within the United States (12.92%). Work is expected to be complete by May 2015 (N00019-10-C-0044).
LRIP-4: 5 E-2Ds
Jan 20/12: Spares. A $31.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order for integrated E-2D LRIP program spares support. Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY, and is expected to be complete in May 2013 (N00019-10-G-0004).
Jan 17/12: 2011 DOT&E – Radar & CEC. The Pentagon releases the FY2011 Annual Report for the Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. The E-2D Hawkeye is included, and concerns revolve around 3 core areas: Overland radar performance; Cooperative Engagement Capability; and Reliability. For radar performance, DOT&E suggests a post-evaluation processor upgrade to boost overland performance. It adds:
“As of December 2011, 93 percent of CEC test points are complete. Carrier suitability testing and the initial cadre of pilots completed carrier qualification in January, August, and September 2011, to support upcoming IOT&E… Discovery of hardware and software integration discrepancies significantly delayed E-2D/CEC integration and testing in FY11… now appears CEC developmental testing will complete in 1QFY12 and is the pacing event for… IOT&E… for the E-2D… [and] for new CEC aircraft hardware (AN/USG-3B) under development by the Navy…
“The [APY-9] radar system reliability, specifically radar mean time between failures, does not currently meet established requirements of 81 hours. While low radar mean time between failures has been a concern for the last two years, it has steadily improved and was 64.3 hours as of July 2011. [Other data are based on small sample sizes, but are under reliability goals].”
DAB approval; LRIP 2/3; carrier and EMALS launch.
1st carrier takeoff
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Sept 27/11: EMALS launch. The EMALS test site at Lakehurst, NJ launches an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The EMALS electro-magnetic catapult, which will outfit the new USS Gerald R. Ford and replace the old steam catapults on refitted Nimitz Class ships, has already launched an F/A-18E Super Hornet, a T-45 Goshawk jet trainer, and the Hawkeye’s C-2A Greyhound cargo cousin.
About 63 – 65 launches are planned for each aircraft type, and the 2nd phase of aircraft compatibility testing is scheduled to begin in 2012. Engineers will continue reliability testing through 2013, then perform installation, checkout, and shipboard testing, with the goal of shipboard certification in 2015.US Navy.
EMALS catapult launch
August 16/11: SDD. A $47.6 million cost-plus-award-fee contract modification for maintenance and repair of components and/or systems that are unique to the E-2D, as part of the SDD program.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (63%); Greenlawn, NY (35%); and Rolling Meadows, IL (2%), and is expected to be complete in December 2012 (N00019-03-C-0057).
July 22/11: LRIP-3 Order. A $760.8 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to manufacture and deliver 5 LRIP Lot 3/ FY 2011 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, including associated support connected to the delivery. This contract also provides for long lead time materials and related support for 5 LRIP Lot 4/ FY 2012 planes.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (25.36%); Bethpage, NY (25.10%); St. Augustine, FL (19.3%); El Segundo, CA (5.34%); Indianapolis, IN (4.84%); Menlo Park, CA (4.64%); Rolling Meadows, IL (2.50%); and other locations within the United States (12.92%). Work is expected to be completed by May 2015 (N00019-10-C-0044). See also April 13/11 entry.
LRIP-3: 5 E-2Ds
July 22/11: A $34 million contract modification finalizes a fixed-price-incentive-fee contract for 1 additional LRIP Lot 2/ FY 2010 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, bringing it to $170 million, plus long-lead buys, plus Government-Furnished Equipment that’s bought separately.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (25.36%); Bethpage, NY (25.10%); St. Augustine, FL (19.3%); El Segundo, CA (5.34%); Indianapolis, IN (4.84%); Menlo Park, CA (4.64%); Rolling Meadows, IL (2.50%); and various locations throughout the United States (12.92%), and is expected to be complete in July 2013 (N00019-08-C-0027). See also July 22/10 entry.
LRIP-2: now 3 E-2Ds
April 15/11: Spares. A $6.6 million contract modification to provide spare consumables and repairables for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye LRIP Lot 2 as well as the Hawkeye Integrated Training System trainers.
Work is expected to be complete in August 2013 and will be performed in El Segundo, CA (52%); Woodland Hills, CA (27%); Marlborough, MA (16%); Syracuse, NY (4%); and Rolling Meadows, IL (1%) under contract N00019-10-G-0004.
April 14/11: DAB approval. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has a successful Defense Acquisition Board review. That leads to authorized funding for an additional 10 E-2Ds, via an Acquisition Decision Memorandum signed by undersecretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr. Ashton Carter. Subsequent conversations with NAVAIR add some clarity to this announcement:
“The Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program received approval for procurement of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 3 (4 aircraft) and Lot 4 (6 aircraft), as well as Advance Acquisition Contract (AAC) for the procurement of long-lead items to support Full Rate Production (FRP) Lot 1 (7 aircraft) [after it] met all criteria needed to continue LRIP.”
LRIP Lot 4 is 6 planes because there are 5 E-2Ds + 1 combat loss replacement requested in FY 2012. To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered 5 E-2D aircraft to the Navy, and production on the 10th aircraft recently began at Northrop Grumman’s East Coast Manufacturing and Flight Test Center in St. Augustine, FL. The aircraft is on track to enter Initial Operational Test and Evaluation later in 2011. Northrop Grumman.
April 13/11: LRIP-4 lead-in. A $94.6 million contract modification to finalizes a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-10-C-0044) to a fixed-price agreement. As a first step, this modification buys long-lead items for 4 LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) Lot 4 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes. NAVAIR tells DID that:
“The average unit recurring flyaway (URF) cost for 70 aircraft in then-year dollars is $166.1 million based on President’s Budget 2012.”
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (46.8%); Bethpage, NY (13.5%); El Segundo, CA (2.6%); Potez, France (2.4%); Edgewood, NY (1.9%); Menlo Park, CA (1.6%); Woodland Hills, CA (1.4%); Owego, NY (1.2%); St. Augustine, FL (1.2%); Marlborough, MA (1.1%); Brooklyn Heights, OH (1%); Greenlawn, NY (.6%); and various locations within the United States (24.7%). Work is expected to be complete by December 2011. This contract was not competitively procured (N00019-10-C-0044).
April 5/11: Spares. A $21.3 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for both consumable and repairable E-2D spares, covering the LRIP Lot 2 buy of 3 planes, and Hawkeye Integrated Training System trainers.
Work is expected to be complete in July 2015, and will be performed in El Segundo, CA (30 %); Syracuse, NY (23 %); Woodland Hills, CA (7.6 %); Menlo Park, CA (6.4 %); Marlborough, MA (6.1 %); Bethpage, NY (3.6 %); Indianapolis, IN (3.1 %); Rolling Meadows, IL (1.6 %); St. Augustine, FL (0.75 %); and various locations throughout the United States (17.85%) under contract N00019-10-G-0004.
Feb 8/11: India. India Defence reports that:
“While briefing media personnel in Bangalore on the eve of Aero India 2011, (Retired) Commodore Gyanendra Sharma, Managing Director of Northrop Grumman India announced that the Ministry of Defence has sent a Request for Information (RFI) for E-2D Naval Airborne Early Warning aircraft to Northrop Grumman. As per details given by Mr. Sharma, Indian Navy has shown interest in procuring at least four such aircrafts… Northrop Grumman is positive that a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the same would be issued by year end.”
Feb 1/11: Carrier landing. An E-2D flown by VX-20 squadron makes the type’s 1st carrier takeoff and landing, aboard the USS Harry S. Truman [CVN 75]. Carrier suitability testing is now underway, with 99% of radar testing complete. US Navy | Northrop Grumman.
1st carrier takeoff & landing
Jan 28/11: India. Northrop Grumman announces that an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye crew work-station will be among its Aero India 2011 exhibits, adding that “India is among the very first countries for which the Advanced Hawkeye capability has been released.” Unfortunately, its carriers don’t carry the catapults required to operate it, so any E-2Ds would be based from shore.
Dec 27/10: Industrial. A $7.4 million firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-fee contract. It covers one time efforts associated with turning E-2D engineering drawing changes into E-2D production changes. Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (71.5%), and St. Augustine, FL (28.5%), and is expected to be complete in December 2012. $1,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11 (N00019-08-C-0027).
Dec 7/10: Support. A $19.6 million firm-fixed-price delivery order under the basic order agreement to provide integrated logistics support for low rate initial production E-2D aircraft. A performance based support contract is expected down the road, and this contract is expected to handle the transition period. Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY, and is expected to be complete in October 2011 (N00019-10-G-0004).
1st delivery; SATCOM; IFF.
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Sept 29/10: IFF. A $59.2 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract for IFF Mode 5 and Mode S upgrades. Efforts will include design, implementation, test and evaluation, verification, documentation, acceptance, and certification. Mode 5 IFF offers improved encryption, range, and civil compatibility. It also adds “lethal interrogation” as a must-respond last chance, and the ability to see individual aircraft even when they’re close together. The further addition of the civilian Mode S assigns a discrete ‘squawk’ which is unique to that aircraft. Together, they improve combat identification, and enable unrestricted flight in civilian airspace.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (63%); Greenlawn, NY (35%); and Rolling Meadows, IL (2%). Work is expected to be complete in December 2013 (N00019-03-C-0057).
Sept 29/10: Industrial. A $25 million firm-fixed-price fixed-price-incentive-fee contract modification covers one-time efforts associated with E-2D engineering drawing modifications, and incorporation of open corrective actions required to produce production-ready documentation. Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (67%), and St. Augustine, FL (33%), and is expected to be complete in September 2012 (N00019-08-C-0027).
Sept 15/10: SATCOM. A $9 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-03-C-0057) to develop a dual satellite communication capability in the E-2D.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (75%); Menlo Park, CA (17%); Westminster, CO (4%); Ronkonkoma, NY (2%); and Whippany, NJ (2%); and is expected to be complete in July 2011.
July 30/10: Fleet entry. The first Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to enter the U.S. Navy fleet is “welcomed home” in a ceremony held at Norfolk Naval Air Station, VA. The 2 pilot production aircraft bought in July 2007 remain on track for delivery in 2010, and Northrop Grumman claims that “manufacturing of four Low-Rate Initial Production aircraft also is progressing well.” Northrop Grumman.
Aug 11/10: C-2 spinoff? Flight International reports that the US Navy has commissioned a 6-month study from Northrop Grumman to look at remanufacturing C-2A Greyhound bodies using tooling and components already developed for the new E-2D Hawkeye, in order to give its 36 carrier-capable cargo planes longer service life.
The C-2As were originally designed to last for 36,000 carrier landings and 15,000 flight hours, and some have already had their center wing boxes replaced. The E-2 Hawkeye is a close derivative, and with Northrop Grumman ramping up E-2D production, refurbishing or building C-2s could become a cheaper option than buying up to 48 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotors for Navy roles that would be anchored by the same Carrier On-board Delivery function.
July 29/10: The 1st E-2D Advanced Hawkeye AWACS is delivered to the fleet at Chambers Field, Naval Station Norfolk, VA. The E-2D will go to the “Greyhawks” of Airborne Early Warning Fleet Replacement Squadron VAW-120, the “Greyhawks,” first. They will fly and operate the new plane, help set its parameters and procedures, and train pilots and Navy flight officers to fly and operate E-2Ds.
Another 2 pilot production E-2Ds are on schedule for delivery in 2010, and 4 Low Rate Initial Production planes are in various stages of manufacture. US Navy | Northrop Grumman | Virginia Pilot.
July 22/10: LRIP-2 partial. A $136 million unfinalized not-to-exceed contract modification for 1 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye from LRIP Lot 2 (FY 2010). This fixed-price-incentive-fee contract is only partial, as LRIP-2 is expected to include 3 planes.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (32.6%); Bethpage, NY (15.5%); Dallas, TX (12.4%); Menlo Park, CA (9.8%); Indianapolis, IN (6.3%); Woodland Hills, CA (6%); Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (2.7%); Brentwood, NY (2.6%); Owego, NY (2.6%); Greenlawn, NY (2.2%); Irvine, CA (1.7%); Marlboro, MA (1.6%); Clemmons, NC (1.6%); Windsor Locks, CT (1.2%); and various locations throughout the U.S. (1.2%). Work is expected to be complete in December 2012 (N00019-08-C-0027).
LRIP-2: 2-3 E-2Ds
March 15/10: LRIP-3 lead-in. A $94.6 million not-to-exceed advance acquisition contract for long lead materials and support associated with the manufacture and delivery of 4 LRIP Lot 3 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft in FY 2010.
Work will be performed in Syracuse, NY (32.6%); various locations within the United States (23.7%); Bethpage, NY (15.5%); Dallas, TX (12.4%); Menlo Park, CA (9.8%); and Woodland Hills, CA (6%), and is expected to be complete in May 2011. This contract was not competitively procured, as the manufacturer is already set (N00019-10-C-0044).
March 4/10: Radar. Lockheed Martin announces a $171.8 million low-rate initial production contract from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Bethpage, NY, for 4 AN/APY-9 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) radar systems and spare parts.
The company adds that 2 engineering-development models and 4 pre-production radar systems are currently in flight and qualification testing. Mission system and radar-related testing are currently ahead of schedule, with more than 230 radar flights over the last several months, by the Navy/ Industry integrated test team.
Dec 14/09: Sub-contractors. A $9.3 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-08-C-0027) for “non-recurring engineering in support of new supplier qualification and startup in support of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft low-rate initial production Lot 1 and 2 aircraft.”
According to Northrop Grumman, CPI Aerostructures in Edgewood, NY is the E-2D Outer Wing Panel supplier. They replaced Vought/Schweizer, who provided the E-2C Outer Wing Panel.
Work will be performed in Bethpage, NY (40.63%); Edgewood, NY (22.35%); St. Augustine, FL (20.86%); Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (14.17%); and various locations within the continental United States (1.99%), and is expected to be complete in January 2011.
Dec 14/09: Support. Wyle Laboratories, Inc. in Huntsville, AL receives a $30.6 million modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award contract (N00421-03-D-0015) for continued E-2C/ E-2D/ C-2 planning, program and financial services in support of the US Navy and the governments of Egypt, France, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Canada under the Foreign Military Sales program.
Canada does not operate any C-2 or E-2 family aircraft at this point, which makes their inclusion interesting; the other foreign military inclusions all operate versions of the E-2C. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, MD, and is expected to be completed in December 2010.
Nov 30/09: CEC. A $6.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5203) build and test AN/USG-3B Airborne Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Systems for use on the Navy’s new E-2D Hawkeye AWACS aircraft. The AN/USG-3B will create a shared fleet defense capability for the E-2D that will reportedly include assistance with ballistic missile tracking. China’s introduction of anti-ship ballistic missiles will make that a valuable capability twice over.
Work will be performed in Largo, FL (80%); St. Petersburg, FL (19%), and Dallas, TX (