The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has announced the completion of the planned maintenance interval two (PMI-2) procedure of the final E-2C Hawkeye at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).

The aircraft departed the command’s test line to Carrier Airborne Early Squadron 116 (VAW-116) stationed at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC).

The E-2C Hawkeye aircraft, delivered by Northrop Grumman, is an all-weather airborne early warning aircraft to the naval task force. It became operational in 1973.

FRCSW performs two levels of scheduled maintenance, namely PMI-1 and PMI-2, on the airframe.

PMI-1 is a light maintenance interval conducted by FRCSW at its Site Pt Mugu and FRC Mid-Atlantic, while PMI-2, which is a heavy maintenance, is handled at FRCSW’s Building 460 onboard Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI).

The PMI-2 event involves disassembly of most of the aircraft and includes the removal of wings, engines, landing gear and the tail. It is not a full overhaul programme.

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Around 120 artisans and 53 indirect support personnel at FRCSW support the procedures.

PMI-2 procedures were completed as part of a project management method, known as the ‘Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)’ programme.

According to NAVIAR, the throughput of the E-2 CCPM is divided into four procedures that involve induction, repair, assembly, and test line.

The first E-2D Hawkeye to complete PMI-2 was delivered by FRCSW in January last year.

In September 2019, the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft with aerial refuelling capability joined the US Navy’s fleet at Naval Station Norfolk.