UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


C-20 / VC-20 Gulfstream III/IV

The C-20 is a military modification of the commercial Gulfstream aircraft, manufactured by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (GAC) Savannah, Georgia. The C-20 aircraft provide distinguished visitor (DV) airlift for military and government officials. They support the long range/low passenger load DV airlift niche, offering worldwide access while including a communications suite which supports worldwide secure voice and data communications for the DV and staff.

The C-20A and B modes are powered by two Rolls Royce Spey Mark 511-8 engines. The primary difference between the C-20A and B model is the electrical system and the avionics package. Two Rolls Royce Tay Mark 611-8 engines power the C-20H. The Tay Mark 611-8 engines provide greater performance, greater range and are quieter than A and B models. The C-20H is also slightly longer than A and B models, and has an upgraded avionics package and interior.

The C-20 is one of the mainstays of AMC's special air mission [SAM] fleet. Their mission, often dealing with highly visible and sensitive diplomatic issues, requires the utmost physical and communications security as SAM passengers conduct highly sensitive business enroute. Mission protocol dictates the use of civilian airports almost exclusively. The 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, MD, operates five B-model and two H-model C-20s for worldwide special air missions. The 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, operates three A-models for operational support airlift.

The C-20 was chosen in June 1983 as the replacement aircraft for the C-140B Jetstar, and three A models were delivered to the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base MD under a cost-saving accelerated purchase plan. The C-20A was first leased as a replacement to the C-140 Jetstar by the Air Force in 1983. They were later purchased outright and a contract for the purchase of eight more modified Gulfstream III aircraft designated C-20B (Air Force owned), C-20C (Army owned), and C-20D (Navy owned) was enacted in 1986. The three C-20As at Andrews were subsequenty transferred to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and all C-140Bs at both locations were phased out of the Air Force inventory. Seven B-model C-20s fly special air missions from Andrews. The primary difference between the C-20A and B model is the electrical system and the avionics package. In 1992, Gulfstream delivered their latest model, the C-20H (Gulfstream IV) to Andrews AFB.

Serving as the core of the small volume SAM fleet, the nine C-20A/ B/Ds fly the bulk of the SAM missions, primarily shorter duration, CONUS missions. Although able to operate overseas and from smaller airfields, they are limited by their medium range, and require an additional fuel stop enroute to and from Europe. Purchased in the mid 1980s, these aircraft are expected to reach their service life of 20,000 hours in 2014. Although employing relatively state-of-the-art avionics, these aircraft do not meet the FAA/ICAO Stage III noise restrictions, thereby requiring reengining or replacement in order to maintain their worldwide unrestricted capability.

Gulfstream's current production of G-IVs appears to secure the logistic support base for C-20s for the foreseeable future. Although the C-20B is not Stage 3 compliant, the C-20H (G-IV) does meet future FAA noise requirements. A Statement of Need and Operational Requirements Document has been validated for a small VC-X aircraft. The 89th Airlift Wing will receive two Gulfstream V aircraft in FY98 to be designated C-37As. AMC has conducted a SAM modernization study, approved by the CSAF, which recommends replacing C-20Bs with additional C-37As.

The contract for maintenance and repair of the C-20 aircraft provides full and partial contractor logistics support for the C-20 aircraft fleet. The contract contains fixed-price and cost-reimbursable line items for a base year and 6 option years. As of June 1998, after less than 3 years of the contract, the Government had obligated about $105 million. If the costs continued at the same rate, significant contract cost overruns would have occured before the contract ended. The contractor did not staff the contractor operated and maintained base supply the hours required by the contract because the contract requirements for the hours of operation were ambiguous. Although the contractor regularly achieved the specified mission capable and supply rates, DoD program and contracting personnel did not effectively manage the following aspects of the C-20 contractor logistics support contract: cost of purchased or repaired parts, material handling charges, cost reimbursable expenses for subcontractor effort, contractor operated and maintained base supply, maintenance guidance, depot operations, and contractor oversight. As a result, DoD may have paid at least $12.8 million more than necessary for parts and services, DoD may have paid for services that were not received, and DoD used resources resolving issues arising from poor contract language.

A 1999 DOD Inspector General audit demonstrated that the contractor and the technical representatives to the contracting officer misinterpreted contract requirements. The misinterpretations related to: cost basis for the threshold of repair; the treatment of cost reimbursable over and above costs (subcontractor effort); the requirement for the contractor to provide maintenance support for Navy Kaneohe Bay aircraft at Hickam Air Force Base without additional costs; the contractor operated maintenance base supply operational hours; and the depot maintenance schedule, and the need for the Air Force to submit depot maintenance authorization forms 90 days prior to aircraft arrival at the depot.

The Air Force concurred with requiring the contractor to obtain best value for new and repair parts, to develop and implement guidance for the allowability and authorizations of over and above costs (subcontractor effort), to develop a standard surveillance plan, and to require the C-20 program office to schedule periodic site visits. The Air Force concurred with reviewing the over and above (subcontractor effort) forms at the main operating bases. Also, the Air Force agreed that the Defense Contract Management Command should follow-up on the contractor's purchasing system review. In 1999 Sabreliner took action to purchase aircraft tires from another source. This action would result in potential monetary benefits of about $1.26 million over the remaining life of the contract and about $887,000 of potential monetary benefits from recouping additional costs for past purchases of aircraft tires.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:28:22 ZULU