The Israel Air and Space Force (IASF) operates two types of modified Gulfstream Special Mission aircraft based on Gulfstream V and Gulfstream G550 airframes. First an introduction.
The Gulfstream V 'Nachshon Shavit' is used as an airborne Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) platform and was officially ordered in November 2001. Three 'green' modified airframes were delivered by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to Israel in June 2005, February 2006 and August 2006 for fit-out by Israel Aerospace industries (IAI) with an Airborne Integrated SIGINT System. Active with the Israeli Air Force during the July/August 2006 Lebanon War, the first delivered aircraft went into action only a very short time after reaching its initial operational capability. When on a mission the Nachshon Shavit searches, intercepts, locates, analyses, classifies and monitors transmissions that originate from air-, land- and sea-based transmitters. The aircraft are based at Nevatim as part of the 122 'The Dakota' Squadron. The Gulfstream G550 'Nachshon Aitam' was modified for the Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) mission by IAI. Ordered in August 2003, the first of two aircraft was delivered 'green' to Israel in September 2006 after which it was locally fitted with the IAI Elta mission equipment. IAI delivered the first mission-configured Nachshon Aitam to the IASF (Nevatim, 122 Squadron) in February 2008 and the second following in May 2008.
Other Nachshon versions studied are the Nachshon Multi-mission Airborne Reconnaissance &
Surveillance System (MARS2) and the Nachshon Tactical Smart Tanker (TST) but no current news on these variants is available. IAI also offers the different Nachshon versions for export. Let's have a closer look at the 5 special mission airframes currently in service with the Israel Air and Space
676, Gulfstream V SIGINT
679, Gulfstream V SIGINT
Airframe 679 was registered to GAC in September, 2001 as N679GA. After being ferried to Israel it was re-registered as 679. The aircraft was noted several times at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion airport and 28 June 2010 at Lajes-Azores, Portugal.
684, Gulfstream V SIGINT
In September 2002 c/n 684 was registered as N684GA. During the 16 and 17th of February 2006 the 'green' aircraft was ferried to IAI at Tel Aviv- Ben Gurion. On the 17th the test registration was cancelled and the new 684 registration was applied. On 9 February 2007 the 684 was noted at Seville-San Pablo, Spain for the NATO Defence Ministers meeting. In the same year this airframe showed up several times at Luqa-Malta International Airport. At the end of 2008 an observation at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion reported the 684 as all white without visible registration.
537, Gulfstream G550 CAEW 'Nachshon Aitam'
N637GA (c/n: 5037) left Savannah (GA) for Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion on 18 September 2006. On it's way to Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion it stopped at Shannon and arrived in Israel on 19 September. Again the same day the N637GA registration was cancelled and changed into first 637 and later 537. The aircraft was noted at Tel Aviv on 24 September with the N and GA removed from N637GA and serial 537 below the cockpit windows. In June 2009 the G550 CAEW was displayed in Europe at the Paris Air Salon, Paris-Le Bourget. The aircraft was decorated with 'Israel Air Force' titles and show number 148. On 25 November 2010 airframe 5037 showed up at Decimomannu AB in Italy for the VEGA 2010 exercise. On 28 June, 2011 it did a formation flight display during the IASF Flight Academy course graduation and air show.
569, Gulfstream G550 CAEW 'Nachshon Aitam'