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An E-2D Hawkeye from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Atlantic Ocean, Feb. 18, 2019.

An E-2D Hawkeye from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121 lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Atlantic Ocean, Feb. 18, 2019. (Amber Smalley/U.S. Navy)

TOKYO — Japan’s first E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early-warning and control aircraft arrived at Misawa Air Base in late March, according to a spokesman for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

The country plans to acquire 13 of the high-tech planes and has allocated $1.8 billion for nine E-2Ds this fiscal year, according to Japan’s 2019 defense budget.

The goal is to “strengthen intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in airspace around Japan including vast air space on the Pacific side,” according to the budget.

The new planes will add capability for Japan, which already has E-2C Hawkeyes to surveil its territorial skies and waters, according to the JASDF spokesman.

The U.S. Navy’s Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 already flies E-2Ds in Japan out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

Japan, which has operated the E-2C since 1983, is the largest E-2 operator outside the United States, the planes’ manufacturer, Northrop Grumman Corp., said in a statement. Japan took delivery of its first E-2D on March 29.

“The E-2D delivers a two-generation leap in radar technology, allowing the aircraft to track threats at extended range,” the company said.

“This aircraft provides a significant increase in early warning and surveillance capability to outpace Japan’s evolving security needs, Jane Bishop, company vice president and integrated product team leader, manned airborne surveillance programs, said in the statement.

The Advanced Hawkeye can be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and for civilian emergency coordination, the company said.

“The E-2D offers interoperability with next-generation aircraft systems and U.S. Navy allies to support regional security cooperation,” the company said.

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com Twitter: @HanaKusumotorobson.seth@stripes.com Twitter: @SethRobson1

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Hana Kusumoto is a reporter/translator who has been covering local authorities in Japan since 2002. She was born in Nagoya, Japan, and lived in Australia and Illinois growing up. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and previously worked for the Christian Science Monitor’s Tokyo bureau.
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