Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Gulfstream are developing an air-to-air refuelling concept based on the G550 business jet.

The idea is to offer a small, agile tanker that would improve the flexibility of aerial refuelling operations. According to IAI, the G550 would be able to carry 25,000kg (55,000lb) of fuel.

If needed, full-size tankers would be able to refuel a G550 tanker to extend its mission. IAI says it is studying the concept in response to requests from potential customers. The company is expanding its tanker business and is working on the design of a Boeing 767 tanker that an IAI source says "will be a multi-mission platform with very advanced systems". These will include a fly-by-wire boom.

The Israeli air force, which now uses Lockheed Martin C-130 and 707 tankers, is studying the 767 concept. The service has asked IAI to develop a system that will enable the air-to-air refuelling of unmanned air vehicles.

Israel already operates military versions of the G550, having taken delivery earlier this year of its first Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) special-mission aircraft.

The air force also received its first Special Electronic Mission Aircraft (SEMA) last year, which is based on the GV, from which the G550 was developed.

© Gulfstream   

Israel already has military versions of the G550 - the CAEW and SEMA


Source: Flight International