The Navy’s new radar early warning aircraft, back from its first deployment, has earned high praise from service officials. The E-2D
Advanced Hawkeye, built by Northrop Grumman, is
replacing the E-2C Hawkeye in the fleet and now is
showing what it can do in real-world operations.
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 (VAW-
125) deployed from March to November to the U.S.
Central Command area of operations aboard the aircraft
carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Fresh from its
midlife refueling and complex overhaul, Theodore
Roosevelt and its strike group were equipped with the
Navy Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air capability, of
which the E-2D, with its advanced Lockheed Martin
APY- 9 radar and other systems, is an integral part.
VAW-125’s E-2D crews supported Operation Inherent
Resolve strike fighter operations against the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria.
“As the premier carrier airborne command-and-
control platform, we were the airborne digital quarter-
back responsible for coordinating and deconflicting
airspace issues, airborne emergencies, air refueling
changes and overall asset management,” said Cmdr.
Daryl Trent, a naval flight officer (NFO) and com-
manding officer of VAW-125. “Furthermore, we coor-
dinated with both the CRC [Control and Reporting
Center] and the CAOC [Combined
Air Operations Center] on matters
affecting the entire Battle Manage-
To Trent, the E-2D was a great
advancement in capability.
“As an NFO who has deployed
repeatedly in both the legacy E-2C
The T4O is the co-pilot whose cockpit station has
been upgraded with displays and controls that, unlike
the E-2C, allow him to complement the three tactical
operators seated in the rear fuselage.
“The Advanced Hawkeye performed magnificently
in near- and over-land environments,” Trent said. “In
contrast to the legacy Hawkeyes, the E-2D perform-
ance was better when compared to my previous de-
ployments in that same environment.”
Trent said the E-2D predominately used the Link 16
tactical data exchange network and the Cooperative
Engagement Capability for track management.
“Having the Advanced Hawkeye in the carrier strike
group is a game changer,” said Capt. Ben Hewlett,
commander, Carrier Air Wing One [CVW- 1]. “Not
only are they extending the eyes of the fleet, but we
can now reach out and touch a threat farther than ever
before. There is a peace of mind for all the air wing aviators when the E-2D is airborne. Their suite of communications improvements has strengthened the air
wing’s situational awareness, and their increased ability
The New ‘Digital
The E-2D is reaching out, touching the threat ‘farther than ever before’
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
A Game Changer’
The Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye radar early warning aircraft earned praise for performance on its first deployment.
; Improvements over the E-2C are two quantum leaps in
; The E-2D performed “magnificently in near- and over-land environments.”
; Maintenance, spare parts always are a challenge for new aircraft.