The Israeli air force is to replace its three Seascan maritime patrol aircraft and will decide soon whether to purchase a new platform or use one of its existing aircraft for the mission. A final decision is expected early next year.

The Seascan is a specialised version of the Israel Aircraft Industries Westwind executive jet, configured to perform maritime patrol missions. The aircraft is operated jointly by the Israeli air force and navy, mainly to provide warning of sea-based guerrilla attacks, and they are equipped with radar and other sensors.

The operational costs of the 30-year-old design and the need to upgrade its sensors are the main reasons for the decision to select a new maritime patrol platform.

The new aircraft will probably come from current air force inventory, according to Israeli sources, with the Raytheon Beech King Air 200 being evaluated by the Israeli air force and navy as the most likely replacement. The aircraft is used by the Israeli air force for communications work.

Source: Flight International