Israeli mission equipment to be installed on Boeing 707

Angola has moved to significantly increase its airborne surveillance capabilities with the purchase of an electronic intelligence gathering/warfare aircraft.

Elisra and two other Israeli companies have secured the contract to install the mission equipment on a Boeing 707 platform.

Work on the aircraft is under way in a sealed hanger belonging to Israeli flag carrier El Al at Ben-Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv. The contract is valued at $20 million, which includes the airframe acquisition.

Elisra is equipping the 707 with passive and active systems to detect and suppress threats, while Israel Aircraft Industries' Taman division is supplying a stabilised long-range day/night electro-optical system. A third Israeli company, LR Avionics, has designed the equipment installation. Electronic and communications intelligence equipment is also included in the package.

The Angolan government is seeking a system able to detect Russian-made air defence systems used by the country's UNITA rebel movement, which has been fighting a civil war for many years. The aircraft will also be used to detect threats to Angolia's off-shore oil installations. The Angolan government is also active in the civil war in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where Russian systems are commonplace. The 707 was acquired from Chile.

When the aircraft is delivered, Angola will become only the second country in the region, after South Africa, with an airborne electronic surveillance capability.

Source: Flight International