Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is prepared to take flight as U.S. Company of the Year at the 2018 Conexx Gala on March 22.

With headquarters in Savannah, Gulfstream designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,800 aircraft in its 60-year history.

Since 2001, Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries have collaborated to design, develop and certify more than 500 business aircraft.

IAI delivers advanced technologies and systems in all domains: air, space, land, sea, cyber, homeland security and ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance). IAI manufactures systems for the Israel Defense Forces and other national militaries.

General Dynamics acquired Gulfstream in July 1999. The company soon identified IAI’s business jet products to complement its product line of private jets typically flown from coast to coast in the United States.

IAI’s business jets, the midsize Astra and super-midsize Galaxy, were manufactured by Galaxy Aerospace, a joint venture between IAI and a U.S. investor. General Dynamics acquired Galaxy in 2001.

Gulfstream Vice President Jay Neely

The Astra and Galaxy were rebranded the Gulfstream G100 and G200, respectively, and IAI kept building them at its production facility in Tel Aviv. Gulfstream handled the aircraft’s development, completions and engineering support. The acquisition expanded Gulfstream’s competitive position in the market.

Gulfstream’s partnership with IAI, which is owned by the Israeli government, grew quickly from one focused on business jets to one that collaborated on special mission aircraft.

In November 2001, Gulfstream was chosen by Israel’s Ministry of Defense to develop a special electronic mission aircraft (SEMA) for electronic intelligence, communications intelligence and ground movement detection. Israel’s air force uses such special aircraft.

In 2005, Gulfstream and IAI subsidiaries ELTA Systems and Bedek, along with two other companies, worked together to deliver the first SEMA to the Defense Ministry, which oversees the IDF. Another SEMA was delivered in 2006.

Jay Neely, Gulfstream’s vice president of law and public affairs, said Gulfstream has delivered aircraft for military use to countries including Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, and Turkey.

Gulfstream and IAI have collaborated on the G280, G200, G150 and G100 business aircraft. While the G200, G150, and G100 are no longer in production, the G280 is known as an efficient machine.

The G280 holds 10 passengers, sleeps five and has a cruising altitude of 45,000 feet. Known for its exceptional climbing ability, the G280 enables long trips to depart from shorter airfields. The aircraft has best-in-class efficiency, consuming up to 12 percent less fuel than any other airplane in its class.

Conexx President Guy Tessler said, “Gulfstream has shown a commitment to Israeli business innovations through its partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries for over two decades.”

Gulfstream employs more than 11,500 people in 12 major locations across the globe.