Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1 declared the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye “suitable and effective” in an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) report, aiding the Defense Acquisition Board in approving the aircraft for full-rate production in January.
“This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work,” said Capt. John S. Lemmon, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231) program manager. “The E-2D team came together with one vision and goal, and the IOT&E report confirms that we are delivering a solid product to the fleet.”
During IOT&E, VX-1 tested the E-2D to determine how well the aircraft could perform required missions and evaluated the aircraft’s readiness for fleet introduction scheduled for 2015. IOT&E was conducted according to current program System Design Development (SDD) requirements.
During testing, VX-1 deployed to several locations to collect flight test data. Tests were held at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev. VX-1 participated in aerial combat training exercises at Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag, as well as the Black Dart exercise at Naval Air Station Point Mugu. Black Dart is designed to test the military’s ability to counter enemy unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
”We tested the E-2D in mountainous terrain near Nellis Air Force Base and elsewhere throughout the country and the aircraft performed phenomenally,” said Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Harkins, VX-1 operational test director.
Harkins also said testing showed an increase in combat effectiveness due to the E-2D’s ability to track small fighter size targets in difficult environments. The data showed significant improvements in radar and mission systems performance in overland and littoral scenarios.
“As we push towards fleet introduction, our program office team stays passionate about our work and committed to the mission,” Lemmon said. “We genuinely care about what we do and the product we are delivering to the fleet.”
Initial operational capability (IOC) for the E-2D is planned for 2015.