Australia has announced the acquisition of four modified Gulfstream G550 aircraft – to be designated the MC-55A Peregrine – to conduct Electronic Warfare (EW) missions for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The acquisition was announced by Christopher Pyne, the Australian Minister for Defence, and Linda Reynolds, the Minister for Defence Industry, on March 18.
Minister Pyne said the $2.46 billion acquisition would enable Defence to actively strengthen electronic warfare support to naval, air and land forces for operations in complex electromagnetic environments.
“The Peregrine is a new airborne electronic warfare capability that will be integrated into Defence’s joint warfighting networks, providing a critical link between platforms, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, E-7A Wedgetail, EA-18G Growler, Navy’s surface combatants and amphibious assault ships and ground assets to support the warfighter,” Minister Pyne said.
“The aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia – yet another piece in a broader Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance precinct being developed at the Super Base, which is already home to our Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. RAAF Base Edinburgh will also serve as the headquarters for our unmanned Tritons and armed unmanned Reaper variant.”
“This capability and the people who operate it will bring Air Force a step closer to becoming a fully networked fifth-generation force and further exploit the joint combat multiplier effects on exercises and operations,” Minister Pyne said.
Minister Reynolds said the Liberal National Government remains committed to opening up new opportunities for Australian small and medium enterprises in the defence industry.
“About $425 million will be spent with Australian companies during the acquisition phase of the project, including $257 million to be invested in new facilities at RAAF Base Edinburgh,” Minister Reynolds said.
“There will be further significant opportunities for Australian industry, estimated to be over $2 billion, in the sustainment of the aircraft over the 25 years life-of-type.”