IAI EL/W-2085 (G550) - Israel, 2012
Detailing the development and operational history of the IAI EL/W-2085 (G550) Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 1/5/2018; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The IAI EL/W-2085 is an Israeli military development of the commercial Gulfstream G550 series business jet aircraft and outfitted for the AEW&C role.
The Gulfstream G550 series of business jets has proven itself a popular and capable airframe in more ways than one with some 550 aircraft built to date (2018). In the middle of the last decade, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) teamed up with Elta Electronics Industries (EEI) to modify this same jet to serve the AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) role for the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The work involved outfitting the existing aircraft with the Elta EL/W-2085 "Eltam" dual-band sensor radar suite as well as installing its applicable control stations, sensors and systems to produce the IAI EL/W-2085. The dorsal fin saw a series of antenna and sensors fitted and a bulging pod was added to the top of the vertical tail fin. Perhaps the most noticeable change was the slab-sided structures to the fuselage which are used to house the radomes in conformal installations.
The EL/W-2085 series aircraft entered service with the IAF in April of 2012 and are used to provide combat warplanes with real-time information on the current battlescape. These aircraft succeeded the aging (and expensive) Boeing Model 707s equipped (with EL/M-2075 series radr) for the same AEW&C role. The aircraft also serves the Singapore Air Force. Upcoming operators of the EL/W-2085 system include Australia, Italy and the United States.
The G550 airframe more-or-less maintains the same form and function of the original Gulfstream product. It is powered by a pair of engines seated along the aft section of the fuselage. The wing mainplanes are swept back and low-mounted while the horizontal tailplanes are seated high. A typical tricycle undercarriage is used for ground-running.