Israel Aerospace to build radar surveillance aircraft based on Gulfstream business jet for Italian air force

LOD, Israel, 22 July 2012. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, Israel, has received two contracts from aerospace authorities in Italy collectively worth $932 million to provide early warning and control aircraft, as well as a surveillance satellite.

IAI will build two G-550 conformal airborne early warning & control systems (CAEW) for the Italian air force under terms of a contract worth $750 million, IAI officials say.

The deal with the Italian air force also includes ground support systems and logistical support. The G-550 system involves G550 twin-engine Gulfstream business jets modified with surveillance radar and other sensors.

In a second contract, IAI will build an observation satellite for the Telespazio space systems services company in Rome. The satellite contract is worth $182 million.

IAI President and CEO Joseph Weiss called the contracts "a strategic milestone in the relationship with Italy and the European Industry."

The G550 CAEW aircraft is the third generation of airborne early warning and control systems developed by IAI since the mid-1980s. The Israeli air force also uses G-550 CAEW systems, as does the Singapore air force.

The CAEW radar uses conformal antennas with dynamic beam allocation to achieve radar coverage for 360 degrees around the aircraft. The conformal antennas provide coverage without the big Frisbee-shaped radar system mounted to other airborne warning and control aircraft such as the U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry AWACS and Navy E-2D Hawkeye.

The IAI CAEW system uses the IAI Elta EL/W-2085 phased array airborne early warning radar, an identification friend or foe system, electronic support measures (ESM), electronic intelligence (ELINT), and communications intelligence (COMINT) systems.

The system uses multi-sensor data fusion to process data generated by the radar, IFF, ESM / ELINT and CSM/COMINT. The phased array airborne early warning radar is an active electronic steering array (AESA) that operates in L and S bands (1 GHz to 2 GHz and 2 GHz to 4 GHz).

The forward-facing hemisphere radar array and the weather radar are mounted in the Gulfstream G550 jet's nose radome. The lateral arrays are attached in conformal radomes along the sides of the forward fuselage. The radome located on the tail cone houses the aft facing hemispherical array.

The CAEW system has six multi-purpose, Windows-based, operator stations with 24-inch color monitors that are installed in the rear half of the main cabin. The forward section of the main cabin behind the cockpit accommodates the electronics.

The CAEW can fly at a maximum speed of 675 miles per hour, has a maximum endurance of nine hours, and has a maximum range of 7,750 miles.

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