Falls Church-based Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) is taking its latest model of reconnaissance aircraft global and Japan’s Ministry of Defense will be the first taker.
With the announcement this week that Northrop was going to deliver its E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early warning platform to Japan under a $286 million contract, the company wasn’t just upgrading a longtime partner’s reconnaissance fleet, but readying itself for further efforts to put this plane in the hands of more international customers.
“E-2D for Japan is huge,” said Jay Mulhall, director of global strategy mission solutions for the E-2 program. “We believe it’s just the beginning of more sales with E-2D around the world.”
Northrop has been in business with Japan for more than half a century. Japan currently operates 13 E-2C Hawkeyes, the previous generation of carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft. The first delivery will be made in 2018, and while the contract is only for one aircraft, Japan has expressed interest in procuring four.
Northrop hopes it can convince its other E-2C customers to upgrade as well, including Egypt, France and Taiwan. There are about 30 E-2Cs in use between those three customers and Japan.
On the home front, Northrop is under contract with the U.S. Navy to produce 51 E-2Ds. The company delivered the first plane in 2008 and has since delivered a total of 22. The Navy also operates about 70 E-2Cs. (end of excerpt)
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