Continued From Previous Page The current version of the Hawkeye, the E-2C, became operational in 1973, and surpassed one million flight hours in August 2004. The aircraft has undergone several upgrades to its active and passive sensors, engines and propellers. The newest variant of the E-2C (Hawkeye 2000) with its new mission computer, improved radar displays and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), combined with the shipboard Aegis weapon system, will form the cornerstone of future sea based Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (TBMD). Variants of the E-2C Hawkeye are also flown by the Egyptian Air Force, Japanese Self Defense Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Taiwan Air Force, and the French Navy. Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) Advanced Hawkeye (AHE), the newest variant of the E-2 aircraft platform, is currently in development and scheduled to be introduced to the Fleet in 2011. Using the E-2C Hawkeye 2000 configuration as a baseline, AHE will feature a state of the art radar with a two generation leap in capability and upgraded aircraft systems that will improve supportability and increase readiness. Key AHE program objectives include improved battle space target detection and situational awareness, support of Theater Air and Missile Defense (TAMD) operations, and improved Operational Availability. The AHE mission will be to provide advance warning of approaching enemy surface units, cruise missiles and aircraft, to vector interceptors or strike aircraft to attack, and to provide area surveillance, intercept, communications relay, search and rescue and strike and air traffic control. The AHE is intended to meet airborne early warning surveillance, battle management and TAMD needs as the Navy develops its Sea Power 21 concepts in support of Joint Vision 2020. General Characteristics Primary Function: Airborne Command & Control, Battle Space Management. Contractor: Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corp. Date Deployed: January 1964. Unit Cost: $80 million. Propulsion: Two Allison T-56-A427 turboprop engines; (5,100 shaft horsepower each). Length: 57 feet 6 inches (17.5 meters). Height: 18 feet 3 inches (5.6 meters). Wingspan: 80 feet 7 inches (28 meters). Weight: Max. gross, take-off: 53,000 lbs (23,850 kg) 40,200 lbs basic (18,090 kg). Airspeed: 300+ knots (345 miles, 552 km. per hour). Ceiling: 30,000 feet (9,100 meters). Crew: Five.