The US Navy will soon order the American company Northrop Grumman to finalize the deck-based E-2D Advanced Hawkeye long-range radar detection aircraft. According to Flightglobal, the company will have to upgrade on-board computers and information display systems so that aircraft crews can control several unmanned aerial vehicles.
Today, the military of several countries are interested in developing systems that will allow manned and unmanned aircraft to operate together. In particular, it is assumed that due to this, manned vehicles will be able to receive more intelligence data without entering the area of operation of enemy air defense systems.
After the launch of the project, Northrop Grumman will have to conduct laboratory tests of the upgraded E-2D avionics together with the on-board systems of the drone. After that, flight tests will be conducted. Among the drones that the E-2D will be able to control will be a promising carrier-based tanker vehicle MQ-25A Stingray, which is being developed by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
The Advanced Hawkeye is 17.6 meters long and has a wingspan of 24.6 meters. The maximum take-off weight of the machine is 26 tons. The aircraft can reach speeds of up to 648 kilometers per hour. The flight range of the E-2D is about 2.7 thousand kilometers. The aircraft is equipped with AN AN/APY-9 radar operating in the UHF band. This rotating station provides an all-round view and has a synthesized aperture mode.