The US Navy has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to provide an upgraded identification friend or foe (IFF) system in support of the French Navy’s E-2C Hawkeye aircraft upgrade programme.
Under the $34.5m contract, Northrop will modify the French Navy’s fleet of three E-2C Hawkeyes with an upgraded IFF system to enhance commonality and interoperability with US Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems E-2/C-2 programmes vice-president Bart LaGrone said: "Through that partnership, we’ve observed the proactive and innovative approach the French Navy takes in maintaining relevancy of its E-2 Hawkeye fleet and personnel."
Designed to allow troops to distinguish between friendly forces and enemies, the upgraded IFF systems will feature of AN/APX-122A IFF Mode 5 / Mode S Interrogators and AN/APX-123 IFF Mode 5 / Mode S Transponders.
The Northrop Grumman-built E-2C Hawkeye aircraft is designed to provide all-weather airborne early-warning capabilities, as well as conduct missions such as strike command and control, in addition to surveillance guidance of search-and-rescue missions.
The aircraft features Lockheed Martin AN/APS-145 radar to track more than 2,000 targets and controlling the interception of 40 hostile targets, AN / UYQ-70 advanced display system and computer peripherals.
Capable of detecting aircraft at ranges greater than 550km, the E-2C aircraft provides threat identification and positional data to fighter aircraft such as F-14 Tomcats and warns the naval task force of approaching air threats while operating altitude above 25,000ft.
Additional features of the aircraft include a global positioning system, AN/ASN-92 carrier aircraft inertial navigation system (CAINS), a Honeywell AN/APN-171(V) radar altimeter and an AN/ASW-25B automatic carrier landing system.
Image: E-2C aircraft during its flight. Photo: file image.