Bombardier Defense announced the arrival of a Global 6000 jet to its facilities in Kansas, in the United States, where it will be converted to fit the intelligence-gathering needs of the German military.
The aircraft is the first of three Global 6000 business jets to be conjointly modified by the Canadian aerospace manufacturer Bombardier and the German MRO provider Lufthansa Technik, as part of Germany’s PEGASUS program, the manufacturer explained in a statement.
“This most recent milestone is a testament to the quality of Bombardier jets for both VIP transport and special mission applications,” Bombardier Defense vice president Steve Patrick said.
Bombardier will now perform major structural modifications in order to make the jet capable of accommodating a “Kalætron Integral” signal intelligence (SIGINT) system developed by German-based sensor specialist Hensoldt.
Once modifications are finished the plane will be transferred to Lufthansa Technik headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, where the intelligence-gathering system dedicated to collect and analyzing military signals from radar and radio systems will be installed.
“Bombardier Defense’s full suite of mission-specific design, manufacturing, and certification capabilities, combined with Lufthansa Technik’s expertise will ensure HENSOLDT receives a reliable, high-performing platform, perfectly tailored to their mission requirements and payload,” Patrick added.
According to the manufacturer, the Global 6000 is “ideal” for critical special missions because of its capability of flying at high altitudes as well as its speed, agility, endurance, and low operating costs compared to other aircraft of the class.
In 2020, Germany selected the Global 6000 business jet as its preferred platform for the PEGASUS. The first delivery is expected for 2026.
The past decade has seen an increased interest from the military in using business aircraft over larger commercial airliners as intelligence-gathering platforms. Different surveillance and reconnaissance variants of the Global 6000 are already being operated by the United States Air Force, the British Royal Air Force and the United Arab Emirates Air Force.