Elta Systems has started to offer potential customers a special-mission aircraft based on the Global 5000 business jet, with Elta and Bombardier having expanded an agreement previously made linked to a maritime patrol variant of the latter's Dash 8 Q400.

Nissim Hadas, chief executive of Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta, announced the development on 4 September, when he also forecast a "dramatic" increase in demand for aircraft capable of performing air-to-ground surveillance tasks. In response to this increase, the company is also offering to modify used Boeing 737s for such tasks.

"In the asymmetric war there is a big need to produce targets for the air force, and our sensor can do it," Hadas says.

Elta has previously developed special-mission versions of the Boeing 707, Gulfstream G550 and Ilyushin Il-76, with its most recent order having been to supply two G550 airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system aircraft to the Italian air force.

A joint project with Airbus Military to develop an AEW&C version of the C295 was revealed at the Paris air show in June 2011, and Hadas says: "We expect a first contract of a C295 AEW system in two years."

Source: Flight International