The Indian Navy had issued an request for information for the aircraft to the U.S. government.
Although the United States is yet to release this aircraft for export, the plane could be sold to countries like India, Egypt, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, the report said.
The aircraft is still under development and Northrop Grumman, its manufacturer, should achieve initial operational capability in 2011. Its first test flight was conducted only in August.
The advanced Hawkeye-2D looks like the existing Hawkeye-2C but will be much different and better with improved performance.
It will feature the new APY-9 spy radar, radio suite, mission computer, integrated satellite communications capability, flight management system, improved engines, a new "glass" cockpit and the ability to refuel in-flight.
A Grumman-built Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar will form part of the spy radar system. This AESA will feature a 360-degree, all-weather rotodome antenna and space-time adaptive processing, digital receivers, Adaptive Detection System (ADS) -18/rotary coupler assembly with a co-aligned IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) suite.
The report said Washington has confirmed India's interest and said that "as and when a formal request is received from New Delhi, the answer should be positive."
he Indian Navy also wanted the aircraft to be capable of staying in the air for eight hours, instead of six in the existing aircraft.
"Suitable modifications are being planned in the new aircraft by adding wet wings, that is, wings capable of carrying fuel," the report said by quoting anonymous sources. Besides, the midair refueling capability would enhance this capability further.
Under a Northrop Grumman statement, "the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye delivers battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system. These advances provide war fighters with the necessary situational awareness to compress the time between initial awareness and active engagement.
"The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the 'digital quarterback' to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep the net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be."
The new aircraft will have a crew of five, including the pilot, co-pilot and three mission operators. Two Rolls Royce T56 engines will power the propeller-driven aircraft.
Development costs for the aircraft are being funded by the U.S. government, which will buy at least 75 of them for its navy.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a 30-billion- U.S. dollars global defense and technology company providing innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide. It set up an India office earlier this year.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Aralık 2007, 10:03