US Electronic Reconnaissance Designations
The United States of America (USA) introduced the E designation category
in 1962 and it is continued until today. It applied to electronic
- Grumman E-1 Tracer
- To provide the US Navy with an AEW capability, Grumman developed the
E-1 Tracer. Based on the C-1A, the first prototype, designated XTFW-1,
made its first flight on 17 December 1956. The massive dish - type
radome, in which a Hazeltime AN/APS-82 radar system was placed, was
carried above the fuselage. The delivery of 88 E-1B production aircarft
started in February 1958. The E-1B was used by both the Atlantic and
the Pacific Fleet squadrons and the last E-1B was retired in 1976.
- Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye
- The E-2 is a shipborne or land-based airborne early warning and control
aircraft. The first flight of the first of three prototypes was made on
21 October 1960. A total of 59 production E-2As were produced, of which
51 were updated to E-2B standard by the end of 1971 apart from two TE-2A
trainers and two aircraft converted to E-2C prototypes. The first flight
of the E-2C prototype took place on 20 January 1971 and production
started in mid - 1971. The first flight of the production E-2C was made
on 23 September 1972. The US Navy has ordered 154 E-2Cs. A total of 211
of all E-2C versions were ordered, of which 183 had been delivered by the
end of 1999. The AN/APS-145 radar replaced the AN/APS-120, AN/APS-125,
AN/APS-138 and AN/APS-139 in new - built E-2Cs. The E-2C was exported
to Egypt (6), France (2), Israel (4), Japan (13), Singapore (4) and
Taiwan (6), as E-2T. The newest variant is the Hawkeye 2000, ordered
by France (1) and the US Navy (21).
- Boeing E-3 Sentry
- The E-3 is the primary AWACS aircraft of the NATO. The E-3 started life
as the EC-137D, with made its first flight on 5 February 1972, followed
by the first E-3A on 31 October 1975. The E-3 is based on the Boeing
Model 707 Series 320B and carries the AN/APY-2 radar on top of the
fuselage and can track 600 low - flying aircraft. The USAF ordered 32
E-3As of which 22 and the two EC-137D were converted to E-3B and 10 to
E-3C. The NATO ordered 18 E-3As and Saudi Arabia 5 E-3A together with 8
KE-3A in the tanker role. The aircraft of the RSAF are powered by four
CFM International CFM56 turbofans in place of the Pratt & Whitney
TF33-P-100A turbojets. France (4 E-3F) and the United Kingdom (7 E-3D
Sentry AEW. Mk 1) also ordered the variant with CFM56 engines.
- Boeing E-4 AABNCP
- The Boeing Model 747 Series 200E was selected in 1973 as an Advanced
Airborne National Command Post (AABNCP). The first of three E-4As flew
on 13 June 1973 and was delivered in December 1974. The second and third
E-4A were delivered in May 1975 and September 1975. The E-4B has updated
systems and the only E-4B was delivered in December 1979. All E-4As were
converted to E-4B between mid 1983 and early 1985.
- Windecker E-5 Eagle I
- One example of this all - plastic research four - seat monoplane,
powered by an IO-540-G engine was aquired by the USAF as E-5A
(73-1653). It was used for tests regarding the radar detectability
of a synthetic - fibre aircraft. It was later handed over to the
US Army for further tests.
- Boeing E-6 Mercury
- The US Navy awarded a contract to Boeing on 29 april 1983 to provide
a replacement for the Lockheed EC-130Q TACAMO. The role of the TACAMO
aircraft is to provide a link between the US National Command
Authorities and the US Navy fleet of nuclear submarines. A derivate
of the Boeing Model 707 was developed as the E-6A Hermes, later renamed
Mercury. The first flight was made on 19 February 1987 and the first
aircraft was delivered to the US Navy on 3 August 1989. At the end of
the 1990s the E-6As were updated to E-6B. The E-6B will also take over
the strategic command post function of the EC-135C.
- No information available.
- Northrop Grumman E-8 J-STARS
- The E-8 represents a major advance in battlefield control, introduducing
the capabilities of the E-3 in the ground batle. The E-8 is based on the
Model 707 Series 320C and the first prototype made its first flight on 22
December 1988. The two E-8A protoypes were used with great succes in
Operation Desert Storm in the beginning of 1991. After one new build
YE-8B was produced, the decision was made to convert former airliner
aircraft for the production phase. There is a requirement for 13 to 19
- de Havilland Canada E-9
- In 1985, the USAF selected the de Havilland Canada DHC-8 as an airborne
platform for a surveillance system required in support of drone and
missile testing out of Tyndall AFB, Florida. Two aircraft were converted
to E-9A by LTV Sierra Research Division to carry a steerable phased -
array antenna in a starboard - side fuselage fairing, AN/APS-128D sea -
surveillance radar in a radome under the forward fuselage and a special
avionics fit. The two aircraft entered service in 1988.
- Boeing E-767
- This is not an official US designations, but it is used by Boeing to
designate four Boeing Model 767 Series 200ER exported to the JASDF in
the AWACS role. The first fligth was made on 9 August 1996 and delivery
started in 1998
Ruud Deurenberg, 16 September 2000
Military Aircraft Database . Index
- Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft - Single Volume Edition, D.
Donald and J. Lake, Aerospace Publishing Limited, London, United
- Jane's Aircraft Upgrades 1999 - 2000.
- Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1999 - 2000.
- The Vital Guide to Military Aircraft, S. Moeng, Aerospace Publishing,
- United States Military Aircraft since 1909, G. Swanborough and P. Bowers,
Putman Aeronautical Books, 1989.
- United States Navy Aircraft since 1911, G. Swanborough and P. Bowers,
Putman Aeronautical Books, 1990.
- US Military Aircraft Designations and Serials 1909 to 1979, J. Andrade,
MIdland Counties Publications, 1997.