General Dynamics conducts independent R&D activities as part of its normal business operations.
In the years from 2008 to 2014, General Dynamics spent the following on R&D activities (company-funded):
2014: $358 million, or 1.2% of total revenues
2013: $310 million, or 1.0% of total revenues
2012: $374 million, or 1.2% of total revenues
2011: $372 million, or 1.1% of total revenues
2010: $325 million, or 1.0% of total revenues
2009: $360 million, or 1.1% of total revenues
2008: $310 million, or 1.0% of total revenues
To foster innovative product development and evolution, General Dynamics conducts sustained R&D activities as part of its normal business operations. In the commercial sector, most of the Aerospace group's R&D activities support Gulfstream's product enhancement and development programs. In General Dynamics' U.S. defense businesses, the company conducts customer-sponsored R&D activities under government contracts and company-sponsored R&D. In accordance with government regulations, General Dynamics recovers a portion of company-sponsored R&D expenditures through overhead charges to U.S. government contracts.
General Dynamics' Gulfstream business is committed to research and development (R&D) activities that facilitate the introduction of new products and first-to-market enhancements that broaden customer choice, improve aircraft performance and set new standards for customer safety, comfort and in-flight productivity. In 2014, Gulfstream introduced three new large-cabin business jets, the G500, the G600 and the G650ER. The G500 and G600 are clean-sheet next-generation business jets that optimize the speed, wide-cabin comfort, efficiency and advanced safety technology of the aircraft. At Mach 0.85, the G500 can fly 5,000 nautical miles, and the G600 can fly 6,200 nautical miles. The G500 and G600 are expected to enter into service in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The G650ER is the extended-range sister-ship to the ultra-long range, ultra-large cabin G650. This new aircraft flies farther at faster speeds than any other business jet on the market and can travel 7,500 nautical miles at Mach 0.85. The first G650ER was delivered in the fourth quarter of 2014, ahead of the original 2015 estimate. These three new aircraft demonstrate the success of consistent and disciplined investment in Gulfstream's product development.
In addition to the new aircraft models, current product enhancement and development efforts include initiatives in advanced avionics, composites, renewable fuels, flight-control systems, acoustics, cabin technologies and vision systems. One recent innovation introduced with the G500 and G600 is the Symmetry Flight Deck that includes 10 touchscreens and active control sidesticks. The active control sidesticks allow the pilot and co-pilot to see and feel each other's control inputs, enhancing their situational awareness and safety of the flight. Gulfstream has also introduced several service and support applications including the PlaneBook application, which provides pilots easy and immediate digital access to critical flight information and aircraft-specific documents.
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