we could enhance training beyond what is already in
place. These systems include the tactical fourth operator
and Joint Mission Planning System, which provides
information to plan missions rapidly and accurately.
Additionally, we will strive to optimize our maintenance
procedures and improve the ruggedness of cabling for a
few items, such as portable electronics. Our program
office will continue to look for ways to improve the E-
2D to ensure our men and women have the safest, most
capable and sustainable aircraft.
“During the E-2D’s first deployment, maintenance
crews worked hard to adapt to a new maintenance phi-
losophy and more sophisticated troubleshooting tech-
niques built into the Advanced Hawkeye,” he said. “Due
to the operational- [O-level] to depot-level design main-
tenance philosophy for many new avionics components
in the aircraft, squadrons were able to diagnose and
repair systems on board the aircraft by replacing circuit
cards without the assistance of the carrier’s intermediate-
[I-] level maintenance team. Previously, in order to repair
a system, the O-level squadron maintainers had to
remove entire boxes and provide these to I-level mainte-
nance for repair or forwarding to a depot repair facility.
Now, these cards are more easily accessible items that can
be replaced by squadron technicians, getting the E-2D
back in service faster.”
VAW-125 also used new tools like the Automated
Logistics Environment (ALE) system to assist trou-
bleshooting and more quickly focus maintenance
actions, Lemmon said.
“Crews used the ALE system to identify specific built-in tests needed to diagnose discrepancies with increased
speed and accuracy,” he said. “As with any new tool and
maintenance philosophy, the more we use it, the more
we learn from it. ALE helps increase the availability of
the E-2D by reducing downtime for maintenance.
The supply chain for a new aircraft also is an area of
“Due to the limited availability of parts inherent to
a new aircraft, [parts supply] was one of our biggest
challenges,” Trent said. “Again, leadership on many
levels directly assisted to ensure we had what we need-
ed in a timely manner.”
“In light of budget constraints and limited availability
of parts, it was a challenge to support the E-2D’s logistics
pipeline,” Lemmon said. “However, our program office
worked with Naval Supply Systems Command
[NAVSUP] Weapon Systems Support and [the] Airborne
Command Control and Logistics Wing to ensure VAW-
125 received the critical components they needed. PMA-
231 will continue to coordinate with NAVSUP, Defense
Logistics Agency and Fleet Readiness Centers to devel-
op innovative solutions to increase fleet readiness in this
austere fiscal environment.”
“During the System Development and Demonstration
phase of the [E-2D] program, NGC [Northrop
Grumman Corp.] worked closely with the Navy to estab-
lish specifications for reliability and maintainability,” said
James “Jay” Mulhall, director of E-2/C- 2 Global Strategy
& Mission Solutions for the company. “This included
state-of-the-art built-in test and the development of an
Automated Logistics Environment. Working with the
Navy, NGC coordinated with the Hawkeye supplier base
to ensure that repairs and spare parts were sufficient to
meet the squadron readiness requirements.”
Mulhall said the company provided two technical rep-
resentatives with VAW-125 during the deployment, one
who specialized in the E-2D’s mission systems and one
who focused on the aircraft and its support systems.
The Navy’s program of record is 75 E-2Ds, of which
Northrop Grumman is under contract to date to build
51 aircraft. The company had delivered 22 E-2Ds as of
Feb. 1 and is scheduled to deliver five this year.
One of the next steps in E-2D development is the
installation of an aerial refueling (AR) capability.
“The first AR installation on an E-2D began in
December 2015 after a successful critical design review,”
Lemmon said. “The first test aircraft was sent to St.
Augustine, Fla., to be outfitted with prototype AR equipment and instrumentation for flight test. Flight testing
for the AR-equipped E-2D test aircraft is planned to commence in fiscal 2017. Initial operational capability for AR
is planned for fiscal 2020.” ;
E-2D crews with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
125 supported Operation Inherent Resolve strike fighter
operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria during
the Advanced Hawkeye’s first deployment last year.