Italian Air Force Receives G550 CAEW Variant

Italian Air Force Receives G550 CAEW Variant. Israel Aerospace Industries has delivered its second Gulfstream G550 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft (CAEW) to the Italian Air Force, completing a reciprocal package of purchases signed by nations in 2012.

Following an example of lead that was delivered at the end of 2016, the new command and control aircraft has been acquired under a agreement  worth to USD 750 million that also includes ground support equipment and a logistics support package.

Rome has separately purchased an Earth observation satellite produced by IAI under its part of the agreement, while Tel Aviv acquired 30 advanced Leonardo M-346 jet aircraft for the Israeli air force.

g550 caew gulfstream italian air force

Italian Air Force Receives G550 CAEW Variant

"The first plane [CAEW] already participated in several exercises with the NATO air forces, for the greatest customer satisfaction," says the Ministry of Defense of Israel.

Developed by the Elta Systems subsidiary of IAI, the CAEW adaptation of the G550 has been in service with the Israeli air force for 12 years, and is also operated by the Air Force of the Republic of Singapore. The highly-adapted commercial aircraft also has electronic support measures and electronic intelligence capabilities (ELINT), while a dedicated ELINT variant of the G550 is also in Israeli service.

Meanwhile, Elta is looking to expand its range of special mission products, through ground surveillance and maritime patrol offers.

A multi-mission aerial surveillance and reconnaissance system, or MARS2, will combine a business jet platform with the company's ELI-3150 payload, to provide intelligence, surveillance and intermediate range reconnaissance in all weather conditions.

The IAI in 2015 unveiled its proposal for an ELI-3360 maritime patrol solution based on Bombardier's Global 5000 business jet.

"It's similar to [Boeing] P-8, but with advanced sensors," says Avishai Izhakian, deputy general manager of the Radar and Airborne Systems division of Elta, who describes the solution as "very profitable."

The Israeli company is in several stages of negotiations with potential customers about its special mission aircraft, adds Izhakian.