The US Navy’s new early warning and control aircraft, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, is set to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Japan.
Expected to be deployed next month, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will be a part of FDNF’s Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.
As part of the move, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 from US Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia will transition to the E-2D aircraft.
Forward deployed to the US Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni in Japan, VAW 125 will replace MCAS’s Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 115, which flies the older E-2C aircraft.
As part of Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI), the US Navy will also commence a phased relocation of CVW-5's Japan-based fixed-wing aircraft from Naval Air Facility (NAF) located in Atsugi to MCAS in Iwakuni.
The phased relocation of CVW-5's fixed-wing aircraft is scheduled to be completed on a timeline agreed upon by both the US and Japanese Governments.
The phased relocation is expected to commence in the second half of this year.
In the summer of this year, VAW-115 will leave the NAF Atsugi base to depart for Naval Base Ventura County, in Point Mugu, California, US, for transition to the new platform at a future date.
Being the latest version of E-2 Hawkeye series, the E-2D aircraft features the A/N-APY9 radar that enables both mechanical and electronic sweeping, an upgraded mission computer, an ‘all glass’ tactical cockpit, and advanced data link capabilities.
Image: US Navy’ E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. Photo: courtesy of PO2 George Bell.