The first of two new C-37B aircraft was flown from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama by the Air Force Chief of Staff and honorary Tuskegee Airman Gen CQ Brown to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on November 3.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen CQ Brown said: “I’m humbled to not only be asked to deliver this aircraft, but to be a red jacket wearer and now to be a red tail flyer. Honestly, I kind of pinched myself that I got this opportunity and a great connection. I’m humbled to also have the opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations.”
Based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet, the C-37Bs are designed to transport the US Vice President and cabinet-level officials. The aircraft have military and commercial level communications systems integrated. The aircraft is capable of flying at high altitude up to 51,000ft and include an updated defensive system, as well as a new onboard senior lead communications system.
The new C-37B’s tail number is 1941, this is in honour of the year Tuskegee Airmen were founded. The two new C-37Bs will total the USAF’s fleet of C-37A/Bs to 16. The two new aircraft are acquired by the USAF through a Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract with Gulfstream. The aircraft received their communications upgrades via L3 Harris, for a total of $159m.
Brig Gen Jason Lindsey, programme executive officer and director of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate, which is responsible for the acquisition, modernization and sustainment of presidential and executive aircraft said: “We are very excited about the delivery of these aircraft. Our teams in the Commercial Derivative Aircraft Division and 645th Aeronautical Systems Group worked diligently with stakeholders, including the 89th Airlift Wing, Air Mobility Command, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, and L3 Harris, to ensure the aircraft not only had the right capabilities and met requirements, but were also built and fielded quickly.”