Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) has delivered the second early warning aircraft to Italy under a reciprocal procurement deal in exchange for the purchase Leonardo M-346 training aircraft estimated at $1 billion.
The early warning planes supplied to Italy were built on the platform of the Gulfstream executive jets equipped with the Conformal Airborne Early Warning and Control (CAEW) System developed by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems. The version delivered to the Italian air force includes upgraded radar capabilities, as well as a unique communications system developed by Elta and Italian company Leonardo, Globes reports.
IAI said Sunday that the intelligence systems installed on the Italian warning planes were the most advanced in the world, and could provide the user with an aerial and naval picture of targets at every height, and in all weather conditions. These systems can detect, identify, and monitor targets at long ranges and systems of sensors that identify threats aimed at the aircraft, the report states.
The deal also includes support systems, in addition to a ground satellite communications station and a training system that provides realistic surroundings for training pilots to operate the early warning planes.
IAI CEO Joseph Weiss was quoted as saying that that completion of the deal constituted a tightening of relations between Israel, Italy, and the European defense industry. Israel Ministry of Defense Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (MAFAT) head Brigadier General (res.) Daniel Gold also welcomed the completion of the defense deal between the two countries, saying, "The system reflects the deep, fruitful collaboration between the Italian and Israeli ministries of defense. It's both sides understanding of the needs and challenges that stand before the other".