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Israel looking to add to surveillance aircraft fleet

The Israeli air force (IAF) has an operational requirement for additional surveillance aircraft to add to its in-service Gulfstream-based fleet.

It is interested in airborne early warning, communications intelligence and electronic intelligence aircraft, an IAF source revealed to FlightGlobal, adding that regional changes have added to the demand.

“We need to see the fast-changing picture in real time,” he says. The source did not elaborate, but it is understood that the presence of foreign forces in neighboring countries such as Syria is complicating the situation.

A new 10-year $38 billion foreign military financing package for Israel may facilitate the needed acquisition, which will add to the Gulfstream G-5 Shavit COMINT/ELINT aircraft and G-550 Eitam AEW aircraft that are in service.

The IAF source said that the radar and other systems that are installed in the two types have been upgraded, and now have an improved performance.

According to the source, in recent years the number of Eitam missions has increased because of the situation in the region.

The new challenges that have to be met by the squadron that operates the AEW and COMINT/ELINT aircraft will define the systems that will be installed in the additional aircraft.

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