Gulfstream delivers special missions G550 to Israeli Air Force


Gulfstream revealed this week it had delivered a special missions G550 to the Israeli Air Force for use in surveillance operations.

Modifications to the G550 included adjustments to the aircraft’s exterior and flight deck. Gulfsteam’s production team built the surveillance platform in its dedicated special missions modification facilities in Savannah, Georgia, US.

The OEM has manufactured special-missions aircraft for more than 50 years. So far, it has delivered over 200 aircraft to governments and militaries in more than 40 countries worldwide. The company also confirmed Israel had been a special-missions customer for many years. “With unparalleled performance capabilities, our modified aircraft can fly the demanding missions governments and militaries conduct around the world,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “Combined with the exceptional reliability our platforms provide and the expertise of our dedicated teams, Gulfstream’s special-missions service is second to none.”

Airborne security operations

Gulfstream’s special missions aircraft are modified to conduct airborne security operations, advanced medevac, airborne research and priority transport missions. The company’s Customer Support department also offers tailored contractor logistics help for special missions customers around the world.

According to the company’s website: Due to its flexibility, capability and signature dispatch reliability, the G550 is the aircraft of choice for a wide range of missions. It leads the way in business, government and military special missions—including aeromedical evacuation, airborne early warning, ground s0.85urveillance, head-of-state transport and maritime patrol.”

The Gulfstream G550 has a maximum range of 6,750nm, a high speed cruise of Mach 0.85 and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000ft. The aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce engines and can operate out of short-field, high-altitude airports. It can accommodate up to 19 passengers and has an endurance of over 12 hours.

‘Intelligence, surveillance and reconaissance’

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) said the new aircraft – code named Oron – will grant the IAF “unprecedented intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities”. Speaking at a welcoming ceremony in Israel, IAF commander, major general Amikam Norkin said: “The Oron is yet another manifestation of the IAF’s increasing effectiveness.”

He added: “The aircraft adds another layer to the IAF’s current operational and strategic capabilities, which allow for continued air superiority in the Middle East and an ability to defend Israel’s skies and ensure its security.”

The Gulfstream G550 Oron aircraft pictured in Israel. Both images are courtesy of Amit Agronov.