Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are collaborating on the next generation variant of the G280, an Israeli news agency reports. According to the Israel business news organization Globes, the board of IAI recently signed off on the upgraded G280 and committed $80 million to the project, matching a Gulfstream investment. The project is currently called P32, but will have another commercial name in the future, Globes added. Gulfstream did not comment on the project, saying only, “Our research and development team is always contemplating options; we have no announcements.”
IAI manufactures the G280 for Gulfstream under license. Gulfstream in 2001 had acquired IAI’s business jet business, then Galaxy Aerospace, but continued production of the original IAI models in Israel. Through this collaboration, Gulfstream launched the G280, originally as the G250, in 2008 and brought the 3,600-nm, Mach 0.85 super-midsize aircraft to market in 2012.
While no official announcement has been made, Rolland Vincent, managing director of JetNet iQ and president of Rolland Vincent Associates, said, “There has been some quiet buzz about the so-called P32 program floating around various corners of the industry. We have been including an enhanced G280 for some time in our JetNet iQ forecasts.”
Vincent noted that the G280 has been well received, but added, “there are always things to improve to stay ahead of the evolving competition and at the top of customers' consideration set.”
An upgraded model would come as the super-midsize category is staged for a makeover. Cessna has become a newcomer to the field with its 3,500-nm Longitude. Embraer, meanwhile, is planning to bring its next-generation Legacy 500 model, the 3,900-nm Praetor 600, to market this year, upping the ante on range for the category, as well as competitive pressure on longer-standing products in the field, including the G280 and Bombardier Challenger 350.