Aeronaurica Militare Acquisitions
Italy’s Aeronaurica Militare is planning to buy up to eight new Gulfstream signals intelligence aircraft. There has been no announcement as to the distribution. How many will be AWACS and how many will be SIGINT platforms The highly modified G550’s are very capable and will provide Italy game changing capabilities over the Mediterranean Region.
The aircraft would be based at the Italian Air Force’s Pratica di Mare base south of Rome, which is already home to the two Gulfstream 550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning aircraft Italy purchased from Israel’s IAI in 2012. …more here.
Active Electronically Scanned Array
The IAI EL/W-2085 is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) multi-band radar system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Electronics Industries.
It provides intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance. The system is currently in-service with Israel and Singapore, and in the future Italy and the United States.
The phased array allows positions of aircraft on operator screens to be updated every 2–4 seconds, rather than every 12 seconds as is the case on the rotodome AWACS.
In 2015, the US Navy announced it would purchase a Gulfstream G550 airframe that’s modified for the conformal airborne early warning system (CAEW).
The airframe is a technology demonstrator and test system. The long term plan is to use something like this system (likely NOT on a Gulfstream) to replace the E-2 Hawkeye. The USA currently operates 88 E-2D aircraft. That replacement may or may not be unmanned. There’s a lot of discussion about the utility of having a CICO (combat information center officer) and ACO (aircraft control officer) actually in the aircraft. The Hawkeye flies with a crew of five.
The new G550 based systems allow for an AWACS mission or a SIGINT mission. The aircraft isn’t large enough to do both at the same time with the results that community consumers demand.
The Israelis are considering combining a SIGINT aircraft an a refueling aircraft in one platform. The Italians are likely thinking along the same lines …more here.