The U.S. Air Force’s top military leader flew the first of two new C-37B aircraft from Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, delivering it to Joint Base Andrews, November 3.
The new C-37B’s tail number is 1941, in honor of the year the Tuskegee Airmen were founded.
A derivative of the Gulfstream G550, C-37Bs are designed to transport the vice president and cabinet-level officials, and are equipped with commercial and military communications systems to provide secure and non-secure voice and data capabilities while in-flight. The aircraft are capable of high-altitude, intercontinental flight, with cruise operations ranging from 41,000 to 51,000 feet.
The Air Force acquired the two aircraft through an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract with Gulfstream and then brought them up to the C-37B baseline with communications upgrades through L3 Harris, for a total of $159 million.
With the new aircraft, the Air Force will now have 16 C-37s – both A and B variants – operating around the world.
Some of the new features of the aircraft include an updated defensive system, as well as a new onboard senior leader communications system.
Due to the demand for executive transport, the aircraft are expected to make an immediate difference.