Egypt is in discussions with the United States to acquire Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft.
This emerged during the United States Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference, which was held on 3 August outside Washington, DC. In a presentation by Captain Pete Arrobio with Naval Air Systems Command (Navair), it was revealed that both Egypt and Taiwan are in discussions to acquire the E-2D while France and Japan are in the process of acquiring the type.
Northrop Grumman claims the E-2D is two generations ahead of previous models, allowing it to work with sea, air and land-based combat systems to defeat large and small targets. Its Lockheed Martin AN/APY-9 AESA radar has an estimated range of 550 km through 360-degree coverage and can apparently identify stealthy aircraft. The Advanced Hawkeye reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the US Navy in 2014.
The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) is one of the few Arab air forces with an airborne early warning as well as airborne electronic warfare capability, flying E-2C Hawkeyes, C-130H Hercules electronics intelligence (ELINT) aircraft and several Beech 1900 ELINT aircraft, amongst others.
Between 1986 and 1993, Egypt acquired six E-2C Hawkeyes and in the early 2000s it spent more than $140 million modernising five E-2Cs to Hawkeye 2000 standard with APS-145 radar and upgraded mission computer, tactical mission system displays and navigation system. With its APS-145 radar, the Hawkeye 2000 can track more than 2 000 targets simultaneously at a range of over 640 km and control 40–100 intercepts.
In 2003 the United States delivered a single second-hand E-2C that was modernised to Hawkeye 2000 standard. Yet another Hawkeye 2000 was delivered in 2010 and although Egypt requested another example in 2015, it seems this deal never transpired.