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News | Jan. 30, 2020

FRCSW Returns First E-2D Hawkeye to Complete PMI-2

By Jim Markle

VIRIN: 200130-N-XZ252-0063

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) set yet another milestone Jan. 23 with the delivery of its first E-2D Hawkeye to complete periodic maintenance interval two (PMI-2).

FRCSW returned the aircraft to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW-120), headquartered at Naval Station Norfolk. The Hawkeye was inducted in August 2018.

Developed to replace the Navys existing E-2C airborne early warning system aircraft, the E-2D is the fourth variant and manufactured by Northrop Grumman. The aircraft completed its maiden flight in 2007, and three years later, the first E-2D was delivered to the Navy.

"Compared to the E-2C, the E-2D is a completely different animal," said E-2 deputy program manager Chris Crawford. "Everything is newer: Newer technologies, avionics, newer test equipment and procedures."

Technologically superior to its predecessors, the E-2D is equipped with a radar featuring electronic and mechanical scanning capability, an integrated glass tactical cockpit, and advanced tactical workstations and mission computer.

FRCSW performs two levels of scheduled maintenance on the airframe: a light periodic maintenance interval one (PMI-1) which is done at FRCSW Site Pt Mugu and FRC Mid-Atlantic, and PMI-2, or a heavy maintenance, at Naval Air Station North Island.

FRCSW is the Navy's sole provider of PMI-2 events on the E-2 airframe, and the 135-member staff assigned to the program will add the maintenance of the E-2D to the existing E-2C workload in Building 460.

PMI is based upon a 96-month cycle: PMI-1 completed every 48 months, followed by PMI-2 48 months later.

PMI-1 targets specific areas of the airframe (primarily the tail) where artisans inspect for corrosion, cracks, mechanical and electrical issues. The procedure requires about a 45-day turn-around time (TAT).

Though not a complete overhaul, PMI-2 is a major disassembly of the aircraft to the fuselage. Artisans remove the aircrafts wings, engines, landing gear and tail. The aircrafts corrosion preventive paint is removed and an in-depth metal assessment is performed targeting cracks, corrosion, exfoliation and other surface anomalies.

Guidance for PMI servicing of the E-2D is found in the airframes Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMS), or computerized maintenance manuals.

"All of the procedures aren't covered in the IETMS, so we worked a lot of hand-in-hand with engineering getting some things done," Crawford said. "This was a prototype aircraft, the first we've done, so were working toward the 220-day (PMI-2) TAT."

If customers authorize repairs that are outside of the scope of specification, the work is classified as an in-service repair (ISR). ISRs are funded separately and normally completed during the PMI event.

ISR work involving the replacement of some fiber optic lines in the VAW-120 aircraft was completed, while artisans also performed an age exploration analysis to the landing gear and rotodome.

FRCSW is currently performing PMI-2 on a second VAW-120 aircraft and recently inducted another E-2D from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty (VX-20) based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

Nov. 21, 2023

FRCSW at Fleet Week San Diego

On November 8 2023, Fleet Week in San Diego unfolded as a grand spectacle of innovation and technology, transforming the Port Pavilion Building into a vibrant hub of the future.

Nov. 10, 2023

Honor Flight San Diego’s Tribute to American Veterans

Veterans Day not only offers a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices of service members, but also serves as a poignant reminder of the price of liberty and the importance of acknowledging those who have borne its cost. This day reinforces the timeless truth: freedom is never free, and gratitude towards its guardians is eternally owed. Building on this spirit of reverence, organizations like Honor Flight San Diego (HFSD) work tirelessly to show tangible appreciation to these heroes.

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July 20, 2023

FRCSW Engineer Receives Assistant Secretary of Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists & Engineers of the Year Award

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FRCSW E-2D Team Wins NAVAIR Commander’s Award

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FRCSW Sailors Named 2023 Sailor of the Year

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April 6, 2023

FRCSW Ally Support Strengthens Royal Australian Air Force

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March 31, 2023

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest - Eliminating Waste and Improving Efficiency

For over 100 years, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) has provided the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps with the highest quality products and services in the most efficient manner possible. One of the state of the art management systems that makes this possible is the “Lean” process which focuses its attention on eliminating waste and error. FRCSW began the command’s most recent “Lean” process by integrating pre-expendable bins (PEB). Lieutenant Commander Jeffrey Legg, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Industrial Supply Officer, in collaboration with the other PEB managers, played a pivotal role in the improvement of PEB inventory.

Sept. 26, 2022

FRCSW Navy’s Sole Maintainer of Rotodome Radar

A primary tool of the Hawkeye’s defensive posture is the rotodome radar system, maintained by Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW).