Late last year, contracts for four Gulfstream G-550 aircraft were announced, one to Italy in the conformal airborne early warning and control system (CAEW) configuration and one to Poland for VIP transport.
The Italian Air Force has received first of two CAEW-based G-550 aircraft from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The aircraft has been delivered as part of a reciprocal defence agreement signed in 2012. Under the agreement, the second CAEW G550 is expected to be delivered to the air force this year.
Development by IAI ELTA, the CAEW is an early warning and air control system that provides aerial and maritime situational awareness with 360° surveillance of airborne targets at all altitudes, over any terrain and in any weather conditions, including maritime surveillance and electronic surveillance. It can also operate at long ranges with extended flight time. The G550 CAEW solution is built on radar installed on the sides of the aircraft, IAI said in a statement.
Furthermore, the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MoND) has signed an agreement to purchase two Gulfstream G550 aircraft. The aircraft will be configured for VIP transport and will be delivered in 2017.
“With its reliability, efficiency and durability, the G550 is a valuable tool for the Polish government,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream. “Gulfstream has more experience in producing and supporting government and special mission aircraft than any other business jet manufacturer.”
According to the company, the G550 is the most widely used in-production Gulfstream model for special missions and government applications. The aircraft’s ability to fly long ranges at altitudes higher than commercial traffic makes the G550 ideal for government use. With its 99.9% National Business Aviation Association dispatch reliability rating, the G550 also offers dependable transport with low maintenance requirements, regardless of configuration. The cabin’s industry-leading quiet sound levels and low cabin altitude help reduce fatigue among passengers and crew. With eight passengers, the G550 can fly nonstop from Warsaw to Los Angeles or Tokyo.
Gulfstream has produced special mission aircraft since 1967, beginning with a GI used by the US Navy for navigator training. Today, aircraft are configured for head-of-state and VIP transport, airborne early warning, medical evacuation, high-altitude atmospheric research, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Nearly 200 Gulfstream aircraft are supporting governments and militaries in more than 35 countries around the world.