Why? Is time on station/range the main factor here? It is an expensive airplane if you don't need the comfort. It's interesting that it happens to be a great engineering solution to 2 different jobs... at least.
As stated, I'm sure endurance, speed, and service ceiling is are all part of it. The G550 is a great platform for this. It's actually relatively cheap to buy and operate for a military plane, especially compared to the old EC-130 and it likely is cheaper than the two competing airframes from BBD and Boeing (civilian G550s have lower list prices and lower DOC than Global 6000s and 737s). However, it should be noted that this wasn't actually the USAFs decision. One thing very different about this bid was that the AF didn't choose the airframe. Instead, they chose the contractor who would develop the jamming pla instead, they chose the contractor who would develop the EW package and then let them choose the airframe they liked best. The EW contractor, L3, had previously partnered with Gulfstream on an EW package for the G550, so it's not a huge surprise that the Gulfstream won. This was the basis for the Boeing and Bombardier protest.
Last edited by tjh8402
on Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.