The boom in mission aircraft

According to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), mission aircraft are going to have a renaissance. And this time the definition will be attached to many types of aircraft.

The indications come from IAI subsidiary Elta. This company is one of the leading manufacturers of radar and other sensors and it was only natural that it would see the first signs from the potential market.

Elta makes four types of mission aircraft – airborne early warning, electronic intelligence, ground surveillance and maritime patrol.

The AEW were installed on a Boeing 707, Ilyushin IL-76 and Gulfstream G-550.

Last year, Elta teamed up with Bombardier to offer an advanced maritime patrol aircraft based on the Q-400.

According to the agreement, potential clients are offered mission aircraft based also on the Global 5000.

The growing demand brought Elta to team up with Airbus Military and the two companies are offering an AEW suite based on the C-295. This type of aircraft was fitted with a rotodome and was displayed at the last Paris airshow.

The company expects a first contract for a C-295 AEW system in two years.

Elta says the demand for mission aircraft is rising steadily and that encouraged the company to offer mission aircraft based also on used Boeing 737s.

There is, says Elta, a dramatic increase in demand for air-ground mission aircraft (JSTARS). These aircraft will be offered based on the Global 5000.

The demand for that type of mission aircraft is explained by the operational need to produce targets for the airforce, especially in asymmetric war.

Demand has also been building for maritime patrol aircraft, because many countries are making a big effort to protect their exclusive economic zones (EEZ) offshore areas.

In July, Elta won a contract to supply two G-550 conformal airborne early warning and control systems (CAEW) to the Italian airforce.

If all these indications are solid  Elta, one of the most successful IAI operations, will increase its sales and profits in the coming years.

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