Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr. flew and delivered the first of two new C-37B planes to the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md.
Brown flew the plane on Nov. 3 from Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
The tail number of the new C-37B is 1941, in honor of the founding year of the Tuskegee Airmen.
“I am honored not only to be invited to deliver this aircraft, but to be a red jacket wearer and now to be a red tail pilot,” said Brown, who is also an honorary Tuskegee aviator. “Honestly, I kind of pinched myself for having had this opportunity and a great connection. I am honored to also have the opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations.
Derived from the Gulfstream G550, the C-37Bs are designed to carry the vice president and senior officials, and are equipped with commercial and military communications systems to provide secure and unsecured voice and data capabilities in flight. The planes are capable of intercontinental flight at high altitudes, with cruise operations ranging from 41,000 to 51,000 feet.
The Air Force acquired the two planes under an indefinite quantity indefinite delivery contract with Gulfstream, then brought them to the C-37B baseline with communications upgrades through L3 Harris, for a total of $ 159 million.
With the new aircraft, the US Air Force will now have 16 C-37s – variants A and B – operating around the world.
“We are very happy with the delivery of these planes,” said Brig. Gen. Jason Lindsey, Program Director and Director of the Presidential Airlift Branch and Executive of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, who is responsible for the acquisition, modernization and maintenance of presidential and executive aircraft. “Our teams from the Commercial Derivative Aircraft division and the 645th Aeronautical Systems Group have worked diligently with stakeholders, including the 89th Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and L3 Harris, to ensure that the aircraft not only had the right capabilities and met the requirements. , but were also built and deployed quickly.
Some of the new aircraft features include an updated defensive system, as well as a new on-board communications system for senior executives.
Due to the demand for executive transportation, planes are expected to make an immediate difference.
“This is a big and very important issue for the Air Force,” said Randal Mitchell, program director in the Commercial Derivative Aircraft division, speaking of the delivery to Joint Base Andrews. “Our VIP fleet, made up of C-21, C-32, C-37 and C-40, is in high demand. It’s a small fleet, so each plane has a huge impact in getting our senior leaders where they need to be, when they need to be there, and in constant communication throughout the journey. We are currently expanding the C-37 fleet to improve aircraft availability and provide additional support to each of our customers throughout the year.