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Northrop Grumman, HAL to cooperate

The US major plans to source aircraft assemblies and components, digitisation and other service from HAL for its E-2C Hawkeye project.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 20:00 IST

Northrop Grumman Corporation signed an agreement this month with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

Under the terms of the agreement, both companies have agreed to work together to identify projects of mutual benefit. This would result in involving HAL in Northrop Grumman's E-2C Hawkeye programme by way of sourcing aircraft assemblies and components, digitisation and other related service from HAL.

Northrop Grumman sent several teams to India in 2005 to survey the nation's companies in search of potential new suppliers. The teams were impressed with the capabilities of the Indian companies surveyed, particularly HAL's expertise in aerospace design and manufacturing.

"HAL is going to be an excellent contributor to the Hawkeye team," said Tim Farrell, vice president of airborne early warning programs for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

"The quality of their products and the creativity of their people are known to the industry. The capabilities and reliability of the Hawkeye are also well known to our allies and adversaries. HAL will help make this remarkable aircraft an even more capable tool for its operators: the US Navy and, so far, six allied nations."

Northrop Grumman anticipates the E-2 Hawkeye airborne early-warning and battle-management product line to continue for 20 or more years. HAL could produce parts for well over 100 Hawkeye aircraft. The specific components are now being determined.

India's military, which is quickly developing a sophisticated network-centric command-and-control organisation, has air early warning and maritime surveillance requirements, Farrell said.

Other aircrafts can see what's beyond them, but the power in net-centric warfare is having an aircraft that has the tools to know what do with that information. Only Hawkeye 2000 delivers that capability. HAL's participation will make Hawkeye an even better buy.

Hawkeye 2000 provides strategic operational benefits such as air-, sea- and ground-unit integration, command-and-control centres throughout a theatre of operations and its own command-and-control workstations. Hawkeye aircraft also fuse data from internal radar and other sensors into actionable battle-space information that can be readily communicated throughout the network.

The airborne battle manager is also valuable as a crisis command centre in natural disasters, as shown recently in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and in more generic homeland defence roles, such as the drug interdiction mission over the seas bordering the United States, claimed the statement.