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The new seal for the Navy’s next aircraft carrier contains a hint about big changes coming to naval aviation

This month, the US Navy unveiled the official seal for the future aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, which was officially launched on October 29, three months ahead of schedule.

The Kennedy will be christened in Newport News, Virginia, on December 7, and even though it likely won’t be commissioned into service until 2020, the carrier’s seal reveals what naval aviation will look like aboard the Kennedy in the decades to come.

The seal ? meant to honor Kennedy, his Navy service, and his vision for space exploration ? depicts several aircraft that will operate on the carrier.

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With the Osprey Waiting on Deck, Delivery Service to Carriers is About to Change

Dawn has barely broken and Rawhide 78, a Northrop Grumman C-2 Greyhound, is already dodging storm clouds on its way to the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, about 100 miles off Florida?s northeast coast. The Truman is gearing up for a nine-month cruise and is chock-full of airplanes, but they aren?t launching and landing. Today is a change-of-command ceremony. Rawhide?s load is light: one bulky access panel for an F/A-18, a couple dozen personal packages for the carrier?s crew, 28 empty seats, and one nervous writer. A few-minutes? flight ahead is another C-2 full of command staff for the ceremony.

The C-2 is?with its close cousin, the E-2 Hawkeye?the heaviest airplane to board the carrier, but its pilots take pride in a crisp ?break? over the ship. They make to overfly the carrier at an 800-foot altitude but, midway down the deck, throw their airplane into a hard left bank, lowering the flaps and landing gear as they descend and bleed off speed. When the Greyhound rolls level, it is on glideslope for the Truman?s angled landing area, and as aircrew in the back signal to brace, Rawhide 78 catches the three-wire and jerks to a halt. The pilots fold the wings immediately and taxi to its parking area.

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Navy Training Squadron Receives First E-2D Hawkeye With New Aerial Refueling Capability

The first non-developmental E-2D Advanced Hawkeye with an aerial refueling capability has officially joined the U.S. Navy’s fleet, marking the first step toward fielding these aircraft across the service’s carrier-based airborne early warning squadrons. Giving these already game-changing aircraft the ability to refuel in mid-air will significantly increase their endurance, something The War Zone has already explored in-depth in the past.

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW-120), the “Greyhawks,” based at Naval Station Norfolk in Virignia, took delivery of the new E-2D on Sept. 9, 2019. The Navy had already received three E-2Ds with the aerial refueling conversion for developmental purposes and is expecting that the new aircraft will reach initial operational capability next year. The service’s plans to acquire Advanced Hawkeyes with this capability trace back at least to 2014.

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