Israel Aerospace Industries and Embraer may co-operate in the special mission aircraft market, with ongoing discussions having been prompted by potential demand in Brazil and other countries in Latin America.

Any step to work together on such programmes would build on an existing relationship that is based on upgrading Brazilian navy Douglas A-4 Skyhawks with a radar from IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, plus the maintenance of aircraft engines.

In recent years, Elta has increased the variety of potential platforms for its mission aircraft programmes, which span the airborne early warning (AEW), electronic intelligence, ground surveillance and maritime patrol sectors.

The company has already installed AEW equipment on the Boeing 707, Gulfstream G550 and Ilyushin Il-76, and is offering an adapted C295 for the role in collaboration with Airbus Military. Its most recent orders success was a deal in 2012 to supply two G550-based AEW platforms to the Italian air force.

A teaming agreement with Bombardier allows Elta to offer a maritime patrol development of the Q400, and to offer special mission derivatives of the Global 5000, such as for ground surveillance tasks.

Elta has forecast an increase in demand for maritime patrol aircraft, as many countries are making increased efforts to protect their exclusive economic zones.

The Israeli company also is offering to adapt used Boeing 737s for special mission tasks.

Embraer has previously adapted its EMB-145 regional airliner for use as an AEW and reconnaissance asset.

Source: Flight International