By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anthony Hopkins II, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Tigertails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 bring a new capability to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as their new aircraft replaces the aging E-2C Hawkeye.
This is the first time E-2D Hawkeyes will serve as the primary early-warning aircraft aboard a deployed aircraft carrier.
"VAW-125 is our E-2D squadron, they are unique," said Capt. William Ewald, commander, Carrier Air Wing 1. "This is their first deployment with that platform and they are obviously well prepared and are going to basically lay the groundwork for the future of the Navy in that aircraft,"
The Northrop Grumman developed E-2D, based on the E-2C platform, features a new radar system, theater missile defense capabilities, multi-sensor integration and a tactical glass cockpit.
"The E-2D is a complete platform change, but it started off as a radar modernization program, because we [were] dealing with E-2Cs that hadn't had a full radar change in about 15 years," said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Moran, from Houston, assigned to VAW-125. "It is the first completely newly developed radar, and it represents about a four generation leap in technology, so it is pretty incredible. When you look at the world and the changing threats out there that we need to see, it was clear we needed upgraded radars."
The E-2D provides a vital role in net-centric warfare, emphasizing situational awareness and data sharing across an entire surface fleet and corresponding aircraft.
"It is a much more capable aircraft. Our detection range is significantly increased. Our ability to see enemy or contact maneuvers is greatly increased, and it allows us to complete our mission, which is command and control, significantly better with a capability we have never seen before," said Moran.
Theodore Roosevelt is deployed as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG). TRCSG is composed of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), USS Farragut (DDG 90) and USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81). TRCSG will conduct operations in the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.