CLEARANCE: Top Secret
- Jun 13, 2007
- Reaction score
Not far off the mark. The NC-37B is a telemetry range support aircraft replacing the old NP-3 "Billboard." IAI Elta appears to be a sub on the contract, and the aircraft has the same configuration as the Conformal AEW aircraft sold to Singapore and Israel. But it sounds like this version doesn't have the full-on IAI AEW radars, but rather specific Raytheon electronics. Those big sponsons hold radars for keeping track of air and surface targets that might stray into the test ranges and probably telemetry relay antennas as well. Sounds like they just picked this airframe because the sponsons were already FAA approved, instead of reinventing the wheel.Archibald said:What the heck happened to that poor bizjet ? He looks like that unfortunate Israeli Boeing 707, the Phalcon one.
The U.S. Navy has publicly announced that it took delivery of its first NC-37B missile range support aircraft earlier in 2018. It is now headed to Raytheon, which will integrate a host of specialized mission equipment into the plane so it can keep missile ranges clear of hazards during tests, gather important telemetry data from those launches, and serve as a communications relay platform.
The Naval Air Systems Command officially received the NC-37B, a modified Gulfstream G550 business jet, on July 30, 2018. Scramble Magazine had been the first to catch a glimpse of the plane, which is already wearing the colors of the "Bloodhounds" of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Three Zero (VX-30), which is headquartered at Naval Base Ventura County in Point Mugu, California, the month before.