The Northrop E-2 Hawkeye is an all-weather airborne early warning aircraft (AEW). The E-2 was a twin-turboprop developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s for the USN. The E-2 is a carrier- capable aircraft and has received major upgrades in their electronics for the E-2B and E-2C with the E-2C also receiving improved turbo-prop engines. The E-2 has been in production since the 1960’s making it the longest production run of any carrier based aircraft. The E-2C variant became operational in 1973.
On October 1, 1968 VAW-125 was commissioned as the “Torch Bearers” but eventually was changed to “Tiger Tails”. Based at NAS Norfolk they became the first east coast squadron to fly the E-2B Hawkeyes and was assigned to Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) aboard USS Saratoga. In 1975 VAW-125 upgraded their Hawkeyes to the E-2C version. In 2003 the Tiger Tails once again upgraded this time to the E-2C 2000 and in 2014 they received the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. In 2009 E-2C 163536 c/n A52-124 was the VAW-125 CAG aircraft.