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Gulfstream C-20

Government / Military VIP Passenger Transport

Gulfstream C-20

Government / Military VIP Passenger Transport


Two different Gulfstream business jets - the III and IV series - served as the basis for the military VIP transport-minded C-20.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1983
STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation - USA
OPERATORS: Sweden; United States

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Gulfstream C-20A model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 79.92 feet (24.36 meters)
WIDTH: 68.83 feet (20.98 meters)
HEIGHT: 24.51 feet (7.47 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 36,905 pounds (16,740 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 65,499 pounds (29,710 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 511-8 turbofan engines developing 11,400lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 582 miles-per-hour (936 kilometers-per-hour; 505 knots)
RANGE: 4,275 miles (6,880 kilometers; 3,715 nautical miles)
CEILING: 45,000 feet (13,716 meters; 8.52 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,350 feet-per-minute (1,326 meters-per-minute)


Series Model Variants
• Gulfstream II - Base Business Jet model on what the military C-20 is based on; Similar forward fuselage and cross section of the Gulfstream I business jet model; swept-wing; T-tail section assembly.
• Gulfstream III - Improved Gulfstream II model; increased wingspan and minor aerodynamic improvements; increased fuel capacity; increased overall range.
• Gulfstream IIB - Updated Gulfstream II's with Gulfstream III newer wing assembly.
• C-20 - Military variant based on the Gulfstream III design; utilized by the USAF.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Gulfstream C-20 Government / Military VIP Passenger Transport.  Entry last updated on 7/12/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
The Gulfstream III and Gulfstream IV commercial corporate jets have served as the framework for the "C-20" family of U.S. military government-level VIP passenger transports. The Gulfstream III covers the C-20A, C-20B, C-20C and C-20D models while the Gulfstream IV is the C-20F (U.S. Army), C-20G (USMC), C-20H (USAF) and C-20J (U.S. Army). The Gulfstream III was introduced by Gulfstream Aerospace in 1980 and 202 were built while the Gulfstream IV achieved better commercial success, entering service in the mid-1980s and has seen production reach 870 units. Both variations are twin-engine jets of conventional form and function.

The original C-20A and C-20B production models were selected to succeed the outgoing line C-140B JetStar aircraft then in service with the USAF. The C-20A held provision for 14 passengers and carried a crew of five. The C-20B (2 x Rolls-Royce Spey 511-8 engines) arrived in 1992 with updated avionics and electronics while the C-20C introduced protected communications for its passengers. The C-20D was taken on by the United States Navy (USN) as an Operational Support Airlift (OSA) type and given appropriate mission equipment for the role of transporting high-ranking USN officials. The C-20E arrived as a "stretched fuselage" model and given slightly reworked wing mainplanes, serving the United States Army.

The SRA-1 became a specialized variant intended for reconnaissance and surveillance for the export market. Similarly, the SMA-3 became a radar-equipped version for maritime patrol, Search & Rescue and VIP transport for Denmark.

For the USAF, three C-20A examples were delivered to the 89th Airlift Wing and these were then shipped to Ramstein AFB in Germany. The C-20B arrived powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey Mark 511-8 series engines.

The C-20H was another stretched fuselage version (powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engines) and this arrived in 1992 as a more advanced model with modernized avionics, uprated engines and new electrical system offering improved range, performance and noise reduction.

The C-20A was given up in frontline service by the USAF in 2002. To fill the gap at Ramstein, a pair of C-20H models were shipped to Germany in their place.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (582mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the Gulfstream C-20A's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (20)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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