NorthropGrumman Labours On With Hawkeye Pitch To Indian Navy

The folks at Northrop Grumman have been talking to the Indian Navy since 2004 about the Hawkeye as a viable sea-going airborne early warning and control asset. And after an abortive (and rather idiotic) attempt to convince the Indian Navy that a pair of Hawkeyes could easily operate off the INS Vikramaditya's angled deck, the company finally settled down a couple of years ago to pitching the aircraft strongly as a shore-based platform. It turns out, NG's attempt to elbow its way onto the Vikramaditya, had serious safety implications. In July 2009, in what must seriously be exasperating the company's India campaigners, they obtained clearance from the US government to hawk the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to India. A fair move, and one that at least pre-empted an Indian query on why NG was still offering the old E-2C.

NG's manager (intl biz) Tom Trudell says, "We briefed the Indian Navy again this year at a high technical level on the E-2D. We've been carrying out detailed technical briefs ever since we received authorisation from the US government to offer the E-2D to the Indian Navy. The technical discussions are now over. We are waiting for guidance from the Indian Navy."

Northrop Grumman is also, incidentally, trying to convince the Indian government to consider a catapult launch system on its second indigenous aircraft carrier. Smart. "A catapult equipped ship is most effective for projecting power," Trudell submits.

Photo ©Northrop Grumman

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