Honeymoon of arms deals between Israel and Italy ?

Could this be the beginning of a “wonderful friendship” in defence relations between Italy and Israel?

Italy has not been a major client of the Israeli aerospace and defe‫ nce industries, but that may change‬.

After the Israeli air force (IAF) selected the Aermacchi M-346 as its advanced trainer, the second part of the agreement – the Italian one – was signed recently.

According to this agreement Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will manufacture and supply the Italian air force with two G-550 conformal airborne early warning and control systems, ground support systems and a logistical support package totaling $750 million.

Under an additional agreement with Italy’s Telespazio, IAI will develop, manufacture and supply an observation satellite to the Italian company, worth $182 million.

These contracts are part of the M-346 package, but, as almost always, such business could lead to a larger scale.

Israeli sources say that unmanned air systems and different fighter aircraft-carried systems may interest the Italians, who have recently trained with the Israeli air force in southern Israel.

During that joint drill at the IAF Uvda base in southern Israel, the Italian pilots were exposed to some Israeli-developed systems, and that may accelerate some acquisitions.

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