Northrop Grumman has been contracted by the US Navy to start production work on the second Japanese E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) and surveillance aircraft.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense selected the E-2D aircraft in 2014 to meet the nation’s requirements for a future AEW platform.
Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye programmes vice-president Jane Bishop said: "For more than 50 years, Northrop Grumman has partnered with Japan by providing a range of capabilities and technologies in defence, security and communications.
"We are honoured to continue this strong partnership through the E-2D programme, which brings Japan a powerful new tool that meets their immediate airborne surveillance needs and facilitates information sharing across many platforms, making it a force multiplier for the future as well."
Northrop will make use of the same multiyear production line used for the US aircraft to manufacture the Japanese E-2D.
Manufacturing work will be carried out at the company's Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in St Augustine, Florida, US.
Earlier this year, the US Navy awarded a contract modification to Northrop Grumman for non-recurring engineering and recurring support to configure the first Japanese E-2D.
Currently, first Japanese E-2D is in production and is expected to be delivered in 2018.
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the latest and most technologically advanced variant of the E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning command and control (AEW&C) platform.
The aircraft is designed to provide critical, actionable data to joint forces and first responders thereby expanding the battlespace awareness, theatre air and missile defence, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities.
Image: Northrop Grumman to produce second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye for Japan. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.