Arie Egozi Tel Aviv
Israel Aerospace Industries will supply the Italian air force with two Gulfstream G550-based conformal airborne early warning (CAEW) and control system aircraft, under a deal worth $750 million.
Also including ground support equipment and a package of logistics services, the contract is part of a counter-deal to Israel's $1 billion order for 30 Alenia Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers, signed in Rome on 19 July. IAI will also develop, manufacture and supply an observation satellite to Italy's Telespazio under an additional agreement worth $182 million.
"Beyond the financial and occupational aspects, this deal represents a significant collaboration with the European industry," says IAI president Joseph Weiss.
Italy's commitment to the G550 CAEW product represents IAI's third sale of the system, which uses radar equipment from its Elta Systems subsidiary. The company has previously delivered four of the aircraft each to the Israeli air force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, as recorded by Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.
The modified G550s will provide a new fixed-wing AEW capability for Italy, which is a member of the NATO component that flies the Boeing 707-based E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.