The US Navy has revealed its intention to purchase a customised Gulfstream G550 from Gulfstream Aerospace (GAC) for test-range surveillance activities.
The aircraft, which is integrated with the conformal airborne early warning system (CAEW), will replace the ageing fleets of the Naval Test Wing Pacific and Air and Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-30 at Point Mugu in California, US.
In a statement, the navy said: "The Gulfstream G550 CAEW aircraft is the only known aircraft that will satisfy the NAWC-WD Sea Range Support requirements without significant engineering, development, modification [and] test and certification effort.
"No other known commercial derivative aircraft that possesses these necessary type certificates is capable of meeting the mission requirements, and therefore the G550 CAEW is the only aircraft that can meet the government’s requirements on a timely basis."
Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, the G550 aircraft offers a range of 6,750nm, while operating through short-field, high-altitude airports. It can also carry approximately 18 passengers.
Furthermore, the aircraft can be equipped with airborne telemetry, command destruct and flight termination systems, in addition to a range of surveillance and clearance radar systems, as well as internal and external communications.
With both US Federal Aviation Administration type certification and supplemental type certificates that comply with the US Department of Defense’s airworthiness necessities, the aircraft can also host up to three telemetry antennas for L, S and C band radio signals.