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Gulfstream G550 Special Mission

One opportunity for the G550 was the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) project. This would use the luxury jet, converted into an unmanned unpiloted mode, with a range of 6750 miles it can carry a payload of 20,000 lbs. Designated the RQ-37, the UAV would have 3 to 4 times the payload of the Global Hawk, over 15 hours endurance and the redundancy of twin engines. The drawbacks of the RQ-37 proposal are considerably less endurance and cost. Whilethe Global Hawk costs around $24-25 million, the basic, unequipped G550 sells for around $35 million.


Company officials have marketed the Gulfstream V-SP as a special mission platform. Several prospective ISR requirements include a platform that could augment the US Air Force's prospective "widebody" ISR fleet [the Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A)], and the US Army's Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) program. Each of these aircraft could perform these missions for an operational cost of $1,772 per hour.

Either a IV-SP or a V-SP is expected to compete for the ACS program. Depictions distributed by Gulfstream included a V-SP configured as an ACS, equipped with an integrated suite of SIGINT, SAR/GMTI, EO/IR, and MASINT sensors, touted as being capable of precision targeting operations.

The V-SP outfitted for airborne electronic attack missions would be the EC-37 Standoff AEA platform. This aircraft could be equipped with ALQ-99 and various other electronic warfare pods, and would be capable of delivering high-performance digital SIGINT capability for look-through operations.

Picking up the slack for an MC2A, the V-SP can be equipped with an active electronic scanned array that is available and compatible with the business jet. Although the US Air Force plans to field a wide-body MC2A fleet in order to ease the strain of commitments that are now being levied on individual Joint STARS, AWACS, and Rivet Joint crews, those multi-mission aircraft are sure to be in greater demand than the single-purpose aircraft they will replace. As a result, the Service is likely to find itself with good uses for new, specialized single-purpose platforms to augment the Joint STARS, AWACS, and Rivet Joint aircraft that will remain in service for some time. Small yet capable aircraft, with their lower maintenance and operating costs, are likely to find increasing favor among Air Force leaders.

C-37B Range Support Aircraft (RSA)

  • Mission: Range Support
  • Operators: U.S. Navy
  • Initial Customer Delivery: 2017

On March 18, 2016 Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Georgia, was awarded a $91,900,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of one Gulfstream G-550 Green aircraft with Airborne Early Warning air vehicle modifications in support of a range support aircraft replacement. Work will be performed in Savannah, Georgia, and is expected to be completed in December 2018. Fiscal 2015 research, development, testing and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $91,900,000 are being obligated on this award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting authority (N00019-16-C-0028).

Naval Test Wing Pacific (NTWP) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three Zero (VX-30) currently operate uniquely modified manned airborne assets to support the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWCWD). The Range Support Aircraft (RSA) assigned to Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s (NAWCWD) Air Test and Evaluation Squadron THREE-ZERO (VX-30) require replacement due to significant service life and sustainment challenges. The aircraft would be used principally for Range Surveillance and Range Clearance, Airborne Telemetry, Command Destruct/Flight Termination System, and communications with vessels, aircraft and shore based test participants.

RSA replacement aircraft is a component of Navy’s Test and Evaluation (T&E) infrastructure that provides critical NAWCWD Sea Range capabilities; these aircraft are for T&E purposes and will not be used in an operational environment. The principal site for this mission is the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California. However, aircraft operate at other ranges and sites around the world.

Point Mugu has real-time control of all aircraft within its coastal area, which permits dynamic reallocation of flight paths in order to assure safe, secure, unhindered military operations. This enables the approximately 36,000 sq. miles (expandable to 196,000 sq. miles if required) Sea Range to operate without encroachment. RSA replacement aircraft will be required to host the Airborne Telemetry (TM), Range Surveillance and Range Clearance (RS&RC), command destruct/flight termination system (CD/FTS), and communication relay (COMM) capabilities.

The replacement aircraft was required to be fielded no later than FY 2017 to ensure continued single-aircraft TM support and accommodate delivery and integration of new TM antenna being developed concurrently. The replacement aircraft would be required to be a Full Mission Capable aircraft capable of conducting TM and RS&RC with an approved Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Type Certificated or Supplemental Type Certificated (STC) design to host two to three, telemetry antennas, of approximately one hundred (100) total square feet nominally for L, S and C bands mounted to the side of the fuselage and contained within a fairing. The replacement aircraft is required to have a minimum range of 4500 nautical miles at optimum cruise speed and altitude with a 45 minute fuel reserve in International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) conditions. Furthermore, replacement aircraft would be required to operate and maneuver at low altitudes as defined in Attachment (1) without adverse effects on desired 25 year airframe service life.

C-37B Priority Transport Personnel

  • Mission: Priority Transport Personnel
  • Operators: USAF, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Federal Agencies
  • Major Modifications: Advanced communications suite
  • Maximum Altitude: 51,000 feet
  • Range: 6,100 nautical miles with 14 passengers, 5 crew, 5 console/work areas, communications station and console
  • Initial Customer Delivery: February 2004
  • Most Recent Delivery: March 2008

The Gulfstream 550 is an all-weather, long-range, high speed aircraft powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710-C4 turbofan engines equipped with thrust reversers. The C-37A is a military version of the Gulfstream V and C-37B is a military version of the Gulfstream 550 aircraft. C-37 are low-wing, business jets powered by two turbofan engines equipped with thrust reversers capable of all-weather, long-range, high-speed nonstop flights.

One C-37B has an executive compartment with accommodations for six passengers and a staff compartment with accommodations for eight passengers. Other C-37Bs have an executive compartment with accommodations for four passengers and a staff compartment with accommodations for eight passengers. All C-37Bs have a walk-in baggage area of 226 cubic feet is fully pressurized and accessible from the cabin. C-37B aircraft are operated by Fleet Logistics Support Squadron One (VR-1) at Naval Air Facility, Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, DC.

The C-37B is the most recent Gulfstream to be adopted for service with the U.S. Government and its military services. As with earlier Gulfstreams, the G550-based C-37B is most often used by the government to transport high priority administration, congressional, and senior Department of Defense and military personnel. The C-27B is outfitted with an advanced communications suite enabling reliable, worldwide, secure data and voice connectivity for U.S. government officials.

The C-37B follows in the footsteps of earlier Gulfstream transports (designated as various models of the C-20) which began service with the U.S. Government and military in 1983. C-20 and C-37 model Gulfstreams serve with every branch of the U.S. military forces and with numerous federal agencies including NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and others. Gulfstreams are in fact, the only fixed-wing aircraft that serve in every branch of the U.S. military.

Japan Coast Guard Open-Ocean Patrol

  • Mission: Long Range/Open Ocean Patrol/Search and Rescue
  • Operator: Japan Coast Guard
  • Major Modifications: Ocean surveillance radar, Forward Looking Infrared system, missioned Interior, including: high density seating, medevac capability, air drop capacity, communications suite and console, mission console
  • Maximum Altitude: 51,000 feet
  • Range: 6,100nautical miles with 14 passengers, 5 crew, 5 Console/Work Areas, Communications Station and Console
  • First in Service: 2005

Two JCG Gulfstreams fill the Japanese Coast Guard's requirement to survey its extensive ocean patrol areas. The aircraft has a 19-passenger, high-density interior, a belly radome which houses a surveillance radar along with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system. The radar and FLIR are integrated through software that allows the radar to find a target, pass its location to the FLIR, and to have the FLIR then visually sight and identify the target. The radar, FLIR, and communications suites are operated by on-board mission specialists.

The long range, exceptional endurance, high speed, and operational flexibility of the GV-based JCG aircraft enables the JCG to conduct lengthy broad-area oceanic surveys and patrols. In addition, the aircraft is a superb extended range search and rescue platform as well. The aircraft is capable of ocean surveillance at any altitude from near sea level to 51,000 feet and further, is equipped to drop a variety of search and rescue equipment such as pumps, rafts, radios, and food and water, to those in peril on the sea.

HiaperHigh Altitude Atmospheric Research

  • Mission: High Altitude Atmospheric Research
  • Operators: USA/National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Major Modifications: Optical windows, wing hard points, airborne atmospheric sampling, missioned Interior
  • Maximum Altitude: 51,000 feet
  • On Contract: December 2001
  • Initial Customer Delivery: March 2005
  • Operational: November 2005

High-Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research is one of the leading U.S. high altitude atmospheric research aircraft. It features cutting-edge scientific research capabilities and is owned by the National Service Foundation Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in support of NSF science projects. National Service Foundation Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The HIAPER aircraft is highly modified. It is fitted with a variety of apertures, fuselage mounts, fuselage pads, optical view ports, wing hard points (pylons and pods), and standardized instrument racks in order to support a broad range of atmospheric and related science experiments. HIAPER is currently operational and is widely considered to be one of the most effective tools available to modern atmospheric research.

Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA)Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

  • Mission: Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
  • Operator: Israeli Air Force
  • Major Modifications: Advanced electronic surveillance systems, advanced data links, air cycle cooling system, missioned interior, operational consoles, external outer mold line modifications: forward gondola, extensive antenna farm, cdl fairings
  • Features: Israeli Aircraft Industries: Airborne Integrated SIGINT System
  • On Contract: November 2001
  • Initial Customer Delivery: June 2005

On 28 August 2003 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, was awarded a contract with a potential value of up to $473 million. Gulfstream will supply and provide support for four Gulfstream G550 business jet aircraft, with an option for two additional G550 aircraft, to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. The aircraft will be used as Compact Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) platforms. The program will take full advantage of the Gulfstream G550's exceptional capabilities, endurance, reliability and low operating cost. The contract includes a firm, fixed-price 10-year contractor logistics support (CLS) program valued at up to $18 million, with the follow-on 10-year option valued at up to $26 million. Following initial phase and partial final phase production, which includes interior and exterior modifications to the platform at Gulfstream's Savannah facility, the mission equipment installation and system integration will be done in Israel.

The three Special Electronic Mission Aircraft aircraft operational with the Israeli Air Force are among the most technically advanced and modern intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft in service today anywhere in the world. Operational since 2005 and combat proven in 2006, the Israeli SEMA aircraft form an important layer in the country's bulwark defensive network.

With hours of endurance available on-station and with on-board operators and off-platform data-links, SEMA provides an unmatched electronic surveillance platform. Active with the Israeli Air Force during the 2006 Lebanon War, the first delivered SEMA aircraft went into action only a very short time after reaching its initial operational capability.

Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW - IAF)Airborne Early Warning

  • Mission: Airborne Early Warning
  • Operator: Israeli Air Force
  • Major Modifications: advanced L-band/s Band AESA Aew radar, missioned interior, operator consoles, aes equipment, advanced data links, vapor cycle cooling system, outer mold line modifications
  • Features: 360-degree airborne surveillance capability, increased maximum zero fuel weight, additional electrical power, mid-wing fuel ejectors, wing stores
  • On Contract: August 2003
  • Initial Customer Delivery: September 2007

Two highly modified CAEW aircraft were delivered to Elta Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of Israeli Aircraft Industries in 2006 for installation of Elta's conformal airborne early-warning radar system. CAEW provides improved performance compared to previous systems through higher operating altitudes, longer range and increased mission time on station. Further performance advantages result from its capability to quickly direct radar beams in any direction at any time. The Elta system features six multi-purpose operator stations with color monitors.

The system provides rapid target acquisition and information with full 360-degree coverage. The multi-functional Elta EL/W-2085 AEW system includes a phased-array, airborne early-warning radar, and identification friend-or-foe system, electronic support measures (ESM), and electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) systems. Its many modes of operation include track initiation, an extended-detection range mode with long dwell times, and target verification.

Conformal Airborne Early-Warning (CAEW - Singapore) Airborne Early-Warning

  • Mission: Airborne Early Warning
  • Operator: Singapore Air Force

The Government of Singapore has placed four Gulfstream-based CAEW early warning aircraft in service.

DLR - HALOHigh Altitude Atmospheric Research

  • Mission: High Altitude Atmospheric Research
  • Operator: DLR, Germany
  • Major Modifications: Optical windows, wing hard points, airborne atmospheric sampling, air inlet apertures, missioned interior/racks, remote sensors
  • Maximum Altitude: 51,000 feet
  • On Contract: February 2005
  • Initial Customer Delivery: January 2009

High Altitude and Long Range research aircraft like its U.S. predecessor, HIAPER, is a high-altitude atmospheric research aircraft for the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR), Germany, with mission objectives and capabilities similar to those of HIAPER. HALO is supported by the German Research Foundation, Max Planck Society, members of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren), and a number of other scientific institutes from the field of atmospheric research. Around 30 research institutes participate in the project.

HALO's exceptional maximum altitude, range, and payload capabilities represent a significant improvement compared with similar research aircraft in operation previously. HALO is designed to maximize payload flexibility but is typically equipped with as many as 15 equipment racks for scientific instrumentation (more than twice as many as on previous DLR aircraft). Even before HALO was delivered, more than 100 instrument proposals were submitted to DLR from the atmospheric science community, including analysis of trace gases and particles, remote sensing Light Detection and Ranging and infrared spectrometers, and instruments for investigating geophysical parameters.

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Page last modified: 08-03-2017 19:35:19 ZULU