US Navy Plans to Order G550 CAEW for Range Support Mission

The US Navy will become the fourth customer to order the Gulfstream G550 CAEW, which is already in service with the Israeli Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force, while it has also been ordered by the Italian Air Force. Seen here is Republic of Singapore Air Force G550 CAEW 016 from 111 ‘Jaeger’ Squadron making the type’s overseas debut in Exercise Cope Tiger at Korat Air Base, Thailand, on March 20, 2011.

A NEW Gulfstream G550 outfitted with a Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) system is to be purchased by the US Navy. US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced its intention to procure the aircraft on October 3.

It is being procured on a non-competitive basis, as no other known type will meet the specific requirements of the Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range Support mission. NAVAIR says that the G550 CAEW can meet requirements without significant engineering, development, modification, test and certification efforts.

It already has both an FAA Type Certification and the necessary Supplemental Type Certificates to meet Government airworthiness requirements. Entry into service of the G550 with the CAEW structural modifications is required before the end of 2017.

The original Request for Information (RFI) for this requirement had been posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website on March 5, 2013. The RFI sought to identify an alternative commercial derivative aircraft to provide airborne test range telemetry and range surveillance and range clearance support at the Point Mugu Sea Test Range in California. The aircraft will replace the current range support aircraft (RSA) assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 30 (VX-30) ‘Bloodhounds’ at Naval Air Station Point Mugu. The current RSA aircraft, NP-3D Orions, have been increasingly subject to service life and sustainment challenges, leading to the decision to replace them. Following the RFI, it was determined that the G550 CAEW was the only aircraft suitable for the missions required.

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