Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Two advanced aircraft that will help the Navy's intelligence gathering and precise targeting of weaponry were celebrated Monday at the Northrop Grumman facility in St. Augustine. Navy officials, joined by U.S. Reps. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville, and John Mica, R-Daytona, attended a ceremony marking the start of a program to build the first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye plane and the delivery of the third EA-6B Prowler electronic-attack aircraft. The two carrier-based aircraft are part of the Navy's vision of technically advanced future of warfare, called Sea Power 21. The Prowler is the third of 10 improved capability planes ordered by the Pentagon for the Navy and Marine Corps. The first squadron of new Prowlers is expected to be operational this summer. The Navy expects the advanced Hawkeye to help protect the fleet from cruise missiles. Two test aircraft being built at the Grumman plant in St. Augustine are expected to be ready for fight testing in 2007. After testing is complete, the Pentagon expects to order 75 of the aircraft, with production to begin in 2010.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye & EA-6B Prowler