IAI to send G550-based AEW system to Aero India

By Arie Egozi

Israel Aerospace Industries is to send its Gulfstream G550-based conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) system aircraft to the Aero India 2009 show in mid-February.

Developed by IAI's Elta Systems subsidiary for the Israeli defence ministry, the modified business jet was delivered to the Israeli air force in February 2008 and has subsequently entered operational service. A second example was delivered in May 2008.

The long-endurance, high-altitude aircraft, which made its first public appearance at last year's Farnborough air show in the UK, is equipped with a conformal dual-band active electronically scanned array radar, plus identification friend-or-foe equipment, electronic support measures and an integrated self-protection system. The CAEW aircraft also has a comprehensive communication suite designed to support network-centric operations.

IAI officials recently cited India as a potential customer for additional airborne early warning systems, with Elta already poised to deliver the nation's first Ilyushin Il-76 modified for the role.

Israel's CAEW acquisition represents the second phase of a strategic plan to replace its fleets of aged special mission aircraft with more cost-effective airframes. Its air force has also since 2006 introduced several G550-based special electronic mission aircraft.

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