French Directorate General of Armaments has announced having ordered three E-2 Hawkeye air surveillance planes for French navy. They will board the PANG (French new generation aircraft carrier)
Foreign Military Sale.
In November 20 the Ministry of Armed Forces has reported that the French navy will soon possess E-2 Hawkeye air surveillance planes replacing E-2C plane currently into service. This contract, which is a FMS (French Military Sales), was formalized in November 4th between the French army and the U.S. government. Planned since several years, this order was subscribed throughout the 2019-2025 military programming law and is referred to a long reflexion led by both the French navy and Directorate General of Armaments. The first deliveries will take place in 2028.
Modernizing French fleet
E-2D Hawkeye of Northrop Grumman, will modernize French navy’s fleet and will be enable to replace the E-2C Kawkeye currently into service. Thanks to technological developments that has been brought by this new engine. , French Ministry of Armed Forces consideres it as a « generation gap».
"Its active radar antenna, its cockpit and its data links are notably enhanced and can also be supplied during the flight”, underlines the Ministry of Army. E-2D will possess the AN/APY-9 radar with active electronic antenna, a technology which enables the increase of the detection capacities of the engine.
However, in order to proceed to an assessment of the marine situation, E-2D will carry a calculator, directly developed in France by the SIAé. To conclude, the French navy emphasizes that the communication system is entirely modernized as well as the steering system with glass-cockpit".
As well as E-2C that will be replaced by E-2D Hawkeye, E-2D Hawkeye will be operated by the 4F fleet, from Lann-Bihoué naval aviation base. And, like E-2C, the E-2D could be embarked on Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, or on PANG. Integration works has begun. "Their characteristics are already taken into account in the design of the future French aircraft carrier. They will therefore be natively compatible," explains the Navy, when asked about this.
Maintenance in operational condition (MCO)
FMS concluded with U. S. government and Northrop Grumman includes a support component. Northrop will be in charge of the maintenance of the aircrafts for the first two years, and after, DMAé (Aeronautical Maintenance Department) will take over and will notify a new support contract. The SIAé (Aeronautical Industrial Service) will be in charge of the airframe and equipments from Cuers, and the engines from Bordeaux
The total value of the contract is €1.850 billion. It thus includes "the acquisition of the three E-2D Francisés, a training system and a support system, as well as support over two years", the Navy explains.