US approves $1.3bn sale of Gulfstream G550 aircraft to Australia
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential $1.3bn foreign military sale of Gulfstream G550 aircraft to Australia.
Under the deal, Australia seeks to receive five Gulfstream G550 aircraft modified to integrate airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare (AISREW) mission systems. It will also have global positioning system (GPS) capability, secure communications, and an aircraft defensive system.
The sale covers spares, including whole life costs of airborne and ground segments, aircraft modification and integration, ground systems for data processing and crew training, and ground support equipment.
The Government of Australia also requested publications and technical data, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, as well as flight test and certification.
The proposed sale will increase the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) interoperability with the US Air Force (USAF) and will help Australia in modernising its electronic warfare capability.
Australia is an important major non-Nato ally and partner that contributes significantly to peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world.
L3 will serve as prime contractor for the sale.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce engines, G550 can fly 12,501km non-stop and is capable of operating out of short-field, high-altitude airports.
The aircraft has enough space to accommodate and transport up to 19 passengers and still has the range to fly non-stop for more than 12 hours.
Image: A Gulfstream G550 aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.