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USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:51 am

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/14 ... eam-bizjet says:
After weathering Congressional backlash and industry protests, the U.S. Air Force has awarded a contract for new jamming aircraft based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet. The decision puts the service on a road to finally replacing the aging, but important EC-130H Compass Call fleet and could prompt an increasing use of similar aircraft for specialized missions throughout the U.S. military.


Seems a lot of platforms that the contractors thought would be on airliners are ending up on bizjets, and in some cases, drones.
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TWA772LR
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:39 am

Didn't they just make an EC-130J?
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Ozair
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:40 am

TWA772LR wrote:
Didn't they just make an EC-130J?

There are upgrades for the current EC-130H fleet that expand their capability as previously the capability was focused on lower bands C2 systems.

Not sure the platform really makes that much of a difference, assuming that the persistence of both is broadly similar. The key remains the systems themselves and that is why the USAF has trusted L3 as the integrator to make the decision.
 
tjh8402
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:31 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
Didn't they just make an EC-130J?


The EC-130J is equipped for a totally different mission than the EC-130H. The EC-130J is an airborne propaganda/psychological warfare tv and radio station. The EC-130H is a reconnaissance and jamming electronic warfare plane.
 
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cpd
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:38 am

Is this then the same plane that the RAAF is also getting (based on G550).
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:43 am

cpd wrote:
Is this then the same plane that the RAAF is also getting (based on G550).


Not certain but I don't believe so. The RAAF G550 is focused on passive ISR while the USAF G550 will be a straight replacement for the Compass Call mission equipment, so used in an EA role.

Some info on the RAAF G550 below.
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-gulfstream-g550-and-the-adf-plugging-the-isr-gap/

There are now quite a few users of the G550 as specialized military variants.
 
Flighty
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:40 pm

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.
 
Ozair
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:54 am

Flighty wrote:
Why? Is time on station/range the main factor here?

Why to what part?

For time on station the G550 will certainly match the current EC-130H as well as cruise faster and fly higher so depending upon the mission set it should likely be better suited to an EA role.
Flighty wrote:
It is an expensive airplane if you don't need the comfort.

The G550 is considerably cheaper than a C-130 to acquire and the mission systems should be the same cost across both platforms so a potential net win. Not sure on sustainment cost.
 
tjh8402
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Re: USAF's Next Jamming Plane Will Be a Gulfstream BizJet

Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:53 am

Flighty wrote:
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.

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