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L-3 lands $83 mn USAF contract for G550 jet aircraft delivery.

| 2018

The US Department of Defense yesterday announced it awarded L-3 Communications a US$83 million FMS contract for the delivery of two Gulfstream G550 jet aircraft. While the service didn't disclosed the final customer, the two aircraft are most likely to be delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

L3lands mn from undisclosed country for G550 jet aircraft delivery 001 A Gulfstream G550 jet aircraft
(Credit: Gulfstream)

"Work will be performed in Greenville, Texas; and Savannah, Georgia, and is expected to be complete by August 2021. (...) This contract involves 100 percent foreign military sales. The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity," the US DoD said.

In June 2017, the US Department of State approved the possible sale to Australia of up to five Gulfstream G550 aircraft modified with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare mission systems.

L3 Technologies in Greenville, Texas (home of L3 Mission Integration) is the prime contractor for the deal, which had an estimated cost of US$1.3 billion.

According to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement, the Australian government requested the potential sale of the G550 aircraft modified to integrate the mission systems and GPS capability, secure communications and aircraft defensive systems; spares, including whole-life costs of airborne and ground segments; aircraft modification and integration; ground systems for data processing and crew training; ground support equipment; publications and technical data; US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; flight test and certification; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The proposed sale supports and complements the ongoing efforts of Australia to modernise its electronic warfare capability, and increases interoperability between the US Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force,” the DSCA stated.

The Integrated Investment Program stated that Defence would acquire long-range electronic warfare support aircraft based on the G550 airframe with additional and modified systems from the early 2020s. The aircraft will be acquired in two tranches and incrementally upgraded to maintain commonality with US-developed systems.

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