It started as an offset obligation but may well develop into much more than that.
There are indications that in coming years, the cooperation between the Italian and Israeli aerospace industries will increase.
As I mentioned, it started as an offset obligation, but now it looks different.
After the Israeli Air Force (IAF) selected the Aermacchi M-346 for its advanced trainer, the second part of the agreement, the Italian one, was also signed.
According to this agreement, Israel Aerospace Industries ( IAI ) will manufacture and supply to the Italian air force two G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning and Control (CAEW) systems, ground support systems and a logistical support package, worth a total of $750 million.
Under an additional agreement with Telespazio worth $182 million, IAI will develop, manufacture and supply an observation satellite to the Italian company. That agreement seemed to be the sealing of the transaction, but it is not.
In recent weeks there have been signs that this exchange of contracts is only the beginning.
When you think about it, this is not surprising. On the one hand, the IAF gave Aermacchi a big promotion by selecting the company's trainer.
On the other, Italy will use Israeli-developed systems for its national security, and that has created a very special atmosphere that is already bringing up more ideas for cooperation of all sorts.