Israel gets second AEW Gulfstream

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The Israeli air force's second of four Gulfstream G550 business jets to be modified for use as an airborne early warning aircraft has arrived at Ben-Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv following a mid-May ferry flight from Savannah, Georgia via Edinburgh, Scotland.

Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary will now install a Phalcon-derivative conformal AEW array, with the aircraft to join a first example (right) now in flight test. The Israeli air force's future AEW fleet will join its three G550s already configured for signals intelligence duties, with these being prepared for operational service. Singapore also recently confirmed its selection of four G550-based AEW aircraft, with these to be in service by 2010.

IAI is believed to be investigating the possibility of exhibiting one or both of Israel's new G550-based surveillance aircraft at June's Paris air show, although industry sources stress that a decision has yet to be taken.

Elta is negotiating co-operation agreements with several European manufacturers to market its EL/M-2052 electronically-scanned fire control radar, currently undergoing flight test. The active phased array design is already on offer primarily to the fighter upgrade sector, says marketing and sales director Igo Licht.

© Gerry Hill   

The modified jet has arrived in Israel to have its Elta radar installed