Leonardo has secured a contract to provide its new high frequency (HF) radio system for the US Navy’s fleet of E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft.

The contract has been awarded by American aerospace and defence company Northrop Grumman.

Under the contract, Leonardo will provide SRT-400 HF radio system to Northrop for secure and stable voice and data communications. It is suitable for use on fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

The advanced ‘HF Single Side Band system SRT-400’ is the result of Leonardo’s years of research and development in the HF airborne radio domain.

Leonardo said that the radio system consumes 40% less Tpower than the earlier variants.

According to Leonardo, the SRT-400 and its low power variant SRT-200 bring together ‘high flexibility and simplified operations into a reduced size and weight package’.

The E-2D was rolled out in May 2007 and conducted its first flight in August that year.

A successful inauguration of the E-2D using the electromagnetic aircraft launch system prototype took place in September 2011. Initial operational capability was achieved in October 2014.

E-2 Hawkeye variants have been in service since 1960s.

The next-generation E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has a new radar system, theatre missile defence capabilities, multi-sensor integration and a Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems tactical glass cockpit.

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.