NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER (NNS) -- Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1’s E-2D Hawkeye Operation Test Team completed aerial refueling (AR) training on Dec. 3, to become the first fleet aviators to be AR qualified on the E-2D.
The training consisted of daytime and nighttime “plugs” with a KC-707 tanker. VX-1’s E-2D is equipped with a fuel probe plumbing at the front of the aircraft, which works to locate and plug into a drogue on the fueling aircraft to secure the fuel connection. The training also consisted of operating in night-time formation with another E-2D Hawkeye.
“This marks the beginning of a new capability for the Hawkeye community,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Dues, a VX-1 Hawkeye pilot to complete the training. “Aerial refueling in this type of aircraft will extend the range of the E-2D as well as increase the time that can be spent on station by the nation’s best airborne early warning platform.”
Recent changes made to the E-2D have been implemented to accommodate in-flight refueling, to include the fixed-fuel probe and associated plumbing, formation lighting, long-endurance seats, as well as flight control software and hardware changes. This new capability could double the current time the E-2D can be on station and provide for better battlespace coverage in support of the warfighter’s mission.
“We’re looking forward to fully testing the game-changing combined capabilities of the AD4-9 radar and the E-2D aerial refueling it in early 2019 as well,” said Capt. Gregory Sleppy, VX-1 commanding officer, in regards to future testing.
The AN/APY-9 is an ultra-high frequency hybrid mechanical/electronically scanned radar system designed to counter stealth mechanisms
The principal mission of VX-1 is to test and evaluate airborne anti-submarine warfare, maritime anti-surface weapon systems and airborne strategic weapon systems, as well as support systems, equipment and materials in an operational environment. The squadron also develops, reviews and disseminates new Operational Tactics Guides to provide guidance to fleet units on initial operating capabilities before fleet tactical publications are ready.
For more news from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1, visit www.navy.mil/local/VX1/.