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Re(2): VIP Fleet replacement?

23 January 2016

By Nigel Pittaway

Further to the breaking news story reported here by Aero Australia at the end of December, the Australian Defence Force has provided further details of the programme to acquire G550 ISREW aircraft.

The US$93.6 million (A$133.66 million) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract with L-3 Communications of Greenville, Texas is for the purchase of two new G550 aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, Georgia, and their maintenance until 2017. They will then be modified for the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (ISREW) role under a yet to be announced contract.

“The aircraft will be modified to provide an airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare (ISREW) capability to support ADF operations for Australia. Further details on the capability will be provided in the Integrated Investment Programme (IIP) due for release this year with the Defence White Paper,” a Defence spokesperson said.

“The acquisition was undertaken through Foreign Military Sales because the ISREW program and its interoperability with other defence capabilities is only available through the USAF. The price of conversion is still to be determined.”

The spokesperson said the two aircraft, with the national register identifier ‘A51’, will be based at Edinburgh in South Australia and operated by the RAAF’s Surveillance and Response Group (SRG), but a final decision regarding an operating squadron is yet to be made.

Aero Australia understands that as many as five G550 ISREW platforms may be acquired by the Australian Government, under Project Air 555.


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