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Australia requests $1.3bn FMS for five G550 surveillance aircraft

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World Aviation Defense & Security Industry - Australia
 
 
Australia requests $1.3bn FMS for five G550 surveillance aircraft
 
The US State Department recently approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for Gulfstream G550 Aircraft with Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems for an estimated cost of $1.3 billion, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on June 26.
     
Gulfstream's G550 EW platform is already in service with the Israeli Air Force
(Credit: Gulfstream)
     
Australia requested the possible sale of up to five Gulfstream G-550 aircraft modified to integrate Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) mission systems, Global Positioning System (GPS) capability, secure communications, aircraft defensive systems; spares, including whole life costs of airborne and ground segments; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $1.3 billion.

"The proposed sale supports and complements the ongoing efforts of Australia to modernize its Electronic Warfare capability and increases interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)," the DSCA said.

The prime contractors will be the US-based company L3.

Once in service with the RAAF, these G550s would probably retrieve the electronic intelligence-gathering role actuallay performed by two of RAAF's AP-3 Orion aircraft. Gulfstream's platform will also beef up an ISR & EW fleet mainly composed of six Boeing E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft and 12 Boeing EA-18G Growler EW aircraft.

Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, the Gulfstream G550 has a cruise range of 6,750 nautical miles /12,501 kilometers and a max operating speed of Mach 0.8.