The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have delivered the first of two Conformal Airborne Early Warning & Control System (CAEW) G550s to the Italian Air Force, making Italy the third nation to operate the platform, after Israel itelf and Singapore.
Delivery of the aircraft is covered by the Israel-Italy Reciprocal Procurement Agreement signed in 2012, whereby Italy agreed to purchase the two AEW platforms under offset arrangements relating to Israel’s purchase of the Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer.
The delivery ceremony at IAI on 19th December was attended by the Italian ambassador, senior officials from the Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and representatives from the Italian Air Force.
The CAEW installed on the Gulfstream G550 business jet is an early warning and air control system developed by IAI’s Elta systems subsidiary. The second aircraft included in the agreement is expected to be delivered to the Italian Air Force during 2017. The aircraft are equipped with advanced mission systems including radar, electronic intelligence, self-defense and advanced communications systems to NATO standards.
The G550 CAEW is unique in having the radar installed on the sides of the aircraft. The CAEW provides aerial and maritime situational awareness with 360° surveillance of airborne targets at all altitudes, over any terrain and in any weather conditions, including maritime surveillance and electronic surveillance. It can operate at long ranges with extended flight time.
Systems provided by Elta include:
• Advanced AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) four-dimensional radar with 360° detection, identification and tracking of airborne and surface targets.
• Electronic Surveillance Measures system (ESM) covering 360°, detecting emitters at a wide range of frequencies, accurately measuring the emitter, its electronic parameters and its platform.
• NATO-compatible communications system, produced jointly by Elta and Leonardo.
• Self-Protection System (SPS) with 360° coverage including active and passive sensors, detecting threats approaching the CAEW aircraft, and countermeasures against incoming missiles.
• Mission Computer System (MCS) creating and displaying aerial and maritime situational pictures by integrating data from the various sensors and tactical datalinks.