Australian MC-55A Peregrines EW aircraft undergoing flight-testing

The MC-55A Peregrine is likely to have a range of systems that will enable it to deliver powerful electronic attacks while boosting the RAAF's offensive and deep-strike capabilities.

Australia’s Gulfstream G550 electronic warfare (EW) aircraft have started initial flight-testing. The first of four ordered aircraft should be delivered by late 2023.

Known as the MC-55A Peregrine to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the aircraft are being modified into the EW configuration by L3Harris Technologies. The modifications are being conducted under the Air 555 Phase 1 (Airborne Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Capability) project.

Images, which appeared on social media in mid-May, show the first aircraft in flight over Gulfstream’s manufacturing factory in Savannah, Georgia.

An Australian Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson confirmed to Janes that flight-testing has started.

“At this stage of the project, all four aircraft are in varying stages of the modification cycle. Initial flight-test activities have commenced, with a comprehensive flight-test programme scheduled to be completed in mid-2023,” the spokesperson said. “This will ensure the modified G550 aircraft meets the airworthiness requirements for the MC‑55A Peregrine capability.”

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