The U.S. State Department recently approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Australia of five Gulfstream G550 Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) aircraft, worth an estimated $1.3 billion.
The Australian G550 AISREW program will be international in scope, but will be headed up by a U.S. company. L3 Technologies – Mission Integration of Greenville, Texas, will serve as prime contractor for the AISREW aircraft. However, the aircraft’s complex electronic suite will require the services of up to six contractors from outside Australia. This is because these suites pull in crucial mission equipment from numerous manufacturers.
The following systems are among the extensive list of specialized electronic mission equipment necessary to transform a green G550 bizjet into an able AISREW platform:
- AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) sets
- AAQ-24(V)N LAIRCM system processor replacements
- AAQ-24(V)N Guardian laser terminal assemblies
- ALE- 47 countermeasure dispenser sets (CMDSs)
- Control Indicator Unit Replacement, High Capacity, Smart Card Assembly (SCA), and User Data Memory cards
- Embedded GPS/INS with GPS security devices
- Airborne identification friend or foe systems
- Infrared missile warning systems
- Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio Systems
- MX-20HD electro-optical and infrared systems
- Osprey 50 AESA radars
- Secure communications equipment
Among the many subcontractors involved in the Australian G550 AISREW program, BAE Systems will supply the ALE-47 CMDSs, L3 Wescam (a division of the prime contractor) the MX-20HD EO/IR turrets, Leonardo the Osprey 50 radars, and Northrop Grumman the AAQ-24 LAIRCM sets. Looking at these alone, it becomes apparent that the G550 AISREW program’s supply net is cast worldwide, incorporating manufacturers headquartered in Italy (Leonardo), the U.K. (BAE Systems), and the U.S. (L3).
However, even with the large array of equipment necessary, no local offset agreements are known to have been incorporated into the potential contract’s stipulations at this time. Certainly, though, there are opportunities for Australian suppliers should the government choose to press the issue.
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Forecast International’s Electronic Systems Market Intelligence Services provides full reports on the ALQ-99 and the NGJ. The Platinum Forecast System adds deeper, hourly-updated access to funding and production forecasts, as well as the system level reports. An updated report on the ALQ-99 program was released in the March Airborne Electronics Forecast supplement.