E-2D Hawkeye: The US Navy’s Eye in the Sky That Can Even Detect Stealth Aircraft

The sophisticated E-2D Hawkeye is a significant evolution in how the US Navy performs command and control management on the battlefield.
E-2C Hawkeye

The E-2D Hawkeye is a top Navy airborne early warning plane. It was designed to provide all-weather surveillance, command, control, and communications for aircraft carrier battle groups.

It has been in service since 2007 and has been upgraded with the latest technology to make it as technologically advanced as possible in this latest E-2D version.

Now, it is a vital part of the Navy’s air fleet and plays a crucial role in protecting carrier battle groups from any threat.


The reliable and updated E-2D Hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye Participates in Flight Ops
E-2C Hawkeye Participates in Flight Ops by Keenan daniels. Public Domain.

The E-2D Hawkeye is the latest version of the E-series aircraft. It is an all-weather, twin-engine turboprop aircraft and is used by many different countries around the world, such as Israel, Singapore, Mexico, Japan, and France.

Thanks to its versatility and state-of-the-art technology, the E-D is one of the most important aircraft in the Navy’s arsenal. It was designed to be a versatile aircraft that could be used for a variety of purposes, including surveillance, command and control, communications, and search and rescue.

An uncommon aircraft

An officer launches an E-2C Hawkeye
An officer launches an E-2C Hawkeye by Official Navy Page Licensed under CC by 2.0

The E-2D Hawkeye is a unique aircraft, designed for a specific purpose: to provide Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C). Its role is to detect and track enemy threats at long ranges before they can reach a carrier battle group.


The Hawkeye has the ability to direct friendly fighters to intercept enemy targets. Also, the aircraft is equipped with sophisticated radar and communications systems, which allow it to fulfill its demanding role effectively.

Despite its unique design, the E-2D has proven to be a versatile and effective platform, capable of performing a wide variety of mission types. According to reports from several experts, the E-2D can detect fifth-generation stealth aircraft with its advanced VHF and UHF radar.

E-2D Hawkeye operational history

It was designed and developed during the 1960s by the Grumman Aircraft Company for the United States Navy as a replacement for the earlier E-1 Tracer, which was rapidly becoming outdated.


But, the latest version of the E-2 series, the E-2D, made its maiden flight in 2007. Later, it achieved initial operational capability in 2014.

Since then, it has been deployed on a number of occasions, most notably to the Middle East in support of operations against ISIS.

The E-2D has also been used extensively by the US Navy in the Asia-Pacific region, where it has participated in a number of exercises and engagements with regional partners.


E-2D Hawkeye vs E-2C Hawkeye

E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning
E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning by nara.getarchive.net. Public Domain.

The E-2D Hawkeye offers a number of significant improvements over its predecessor. 

The most notable difference is the addition of an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, which gives the aircraft unprecedented situational awareness.

The E-2D also features an updated avionics suite and mission computer, as well as new engines that provide increased power and efficiency. 


As a result, it is clear that the E-2D Hawkeye is a superior aircraft to the E-2C Hawkeye in every respect. However, drones are expected to take the role of the E-2 family in the future as the US Navy wants to decrease the number of crew members on its ships.

E-2D Hawkeye specs

E-2D Hawkeye assigned to Air Test
E-2D Hawkeye assigned to Air Test by U.S. Navy. Public Domain.

  • Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman
  • Status: In service
  • Number built: 88
  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 57 feet 8 inches
  • Height: 18 feet 3 inches
  • Empty weight: 40,200 pounds (18,234 kilograms)
  • Max takeoff weight: 57,500 pounds (26,082 kilograms)
  • Maximum speed: 400 mph; 650 km/h
  • Cruise speed: 295 mph; 474 km/h
  • Service ceiling: 34,700 feet (10,600 meters)

Hawkeye aircraft play a critical role in the Navy’s operations

The E-2D Hawkeye is a critical part of the US military’s warfighting capability, and its command and control ability is essential for delivering safety operations in conflict zones.

And it is uniquely suited to the challenges of modern warfare. For this reason, it will continue to be a crucial part of our military’s capability for years to come.


Featured image credit: E-2C Hawkeye by Elliot Schaudt. Public Domain.