Taiwan Gets E-2C Upgrade
By Wendell Minnick
U.S. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Northrop Grumman Systems a $5.6 million order on Dec. 9 to provide sustaining engineering support for Taiwan's E-2C Hawkeye Airborne and Early Warning (AEW) Program. Work will be performed in the United States and is scheduled to be complete in December 2009.
Taiwan's Air Force has six E-2 aircraft in its inventory. It ordered four E-2T aircraft for $700 million in 1993, rebuilt E-2Bs with AN/APS-145 radar, taking delivery in 1995. In 1999, Taiwan ordered two additional E-2 Hawkeye 2000 aircraft for $400 million taking delivery in 2004.
The aircraft make up the 2nd AEW Squadron, 20th Group, 6th Composite Wing, Pingtung Air Base, in west central Taiwan. One E-2T was severely damaged in March 1997 after landing without its wheels down. It has since been completely refurbished and reinstated.
Taiwan did modify one C-130 in 1993 into a C-130HE (1351) now assigned to the 6th Wing. There have been discussions on procuring three additional C-130s for electronic warfare and procuring two signal intelligence aircraft, but internal problems have seriously delayed plans.
Taiwan procured 20 C-130s in the early 1990s; one crashed in 1997. Taiwan has looked at the procurement of additional C-130s or possibly C-27J Spartan transport aircraft for its future transport needs.
Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development manufactures the C-27Js tail assemblies.