JERUSALEM, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Israel Aerospace Industries announced Thursday that they signed a 750 million USD contract to provide the Italian Air Force with two G-550 early warning aircraft.
The contract, which is managed by Israel's Defense Ministry, includes ground mission control stations and a comprehensive logistical support package, according to a press release.
Under an additional 182 million U.S. dollars contract inked Thursday with Telespazio, a Rome-based provider of space systems services, IAI will develop, manufacture and supply an observation satellite to the company.
"Italy is an important European country and we are proud of strengthening our relationship with it," said Joseph Weiss, president and CEO of IAI. "The Airborne Early Warning aircraft and the observation satellite are two of IAI's strategic products. Beyond the financial and occupational aspects, this deal represents a strategic milestone in the relationship with the European industry."
The state-owned IAI is Israel's largest military contractor and primarily renowned for its unmanned air vehicles and high- precision weaponry, although half of the company's products are developed for the civilian market.
The aircraft that will be delivered to the Italian military is the Gulfstream G-550 high performance business jet outfitted with the airborne Control and Early Warning (CAEW) system developed by ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of IAI.
High-power sensors integrated into the system, which is installed on the sides of the aircraft in order to minimize the effect on its performance, provide aerial and maritime situation awareness by performing a 360-degree electronic surveillance of airborne targets at all altitudes, over any terrain and in adverse weather conditions.
The aircraft has been operational in the Israel Air Force since 2008, where it is known as Eitam, and platforms with similar technology were sold to South American and Asian countries.