Today Gulfstream announced their G500 and G600. But there’s more news around the G450 and G550 which is being replaced by these new models.
The news is specifically G550-based. The US Navy will become the fourth customer for the G550-based Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW), which is already in service with the Israeli Air Force (pictured), Republic of Singapore Air Force, and also ordered by the Italian Air Force. The US Navy is replacing two NP-3D “Billboard” range monitoring aircraft with the G550.
Interestingly, the US Navy says that the G550 CAEW is the “Only One Responsible Source and No Other Type of Supplies or Services will Satisfy Agency Requirements.” Look here for more on the procurement language.
The aircraft would be utilized by Naval Test Wing Pacific’s Naval Weapons Test Squadrons at Point Mugu. The aircraft used by this group is are highly specialized. Buying the aircraft from Gulfstream could mean the customer may not be including any of the technology that IAI/ELBIT installed for the other users. But that part could be kept as a separate deal and likely not reported as openly. Of course it helps that the G550 already has all the required certifications.
It is also interesting that potential other aircraft with similar capabilities were not considered. For example options from Boeing like the P-8, Wedgetail or even the MAS-based Challenger. The US Navy seems quite focused on this soluti