FMS for third Italian G550 moves closer
The US State Department on 15 December approved a possible FMS to Italy of a Gulfstream G550 aircraft for AEW&C, EW and ISTAR missions, plus related equipment, for an estimated $500 million.
L3Harris was named as the prime contractor.
‘The proposed sale supports and complements the ongoing efforts of Italy to modernize its airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare capability and increases interoperability between the US Air Force and the Italian Air Force,’ the State Department noted.
Italy already operates two G550s. According to Shephard Defence Insight, these were acquired in 2012 as part of an offset package for the sale of 30 Leonardo M-346 jet trainers to the Israeli Air Force.
The first aircraft was delivered in 2016 and the second one in 2018. In addition to mission systems provided by Israel Aerospace Industries, the Italian G550s feature a NATO-compatible communications system produced jointly by Elta and Leonardo.
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