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First Italian Air Force G550 CAEW leaves Savannah

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First Italian Air Force G550 CAEW leaves Savannah - Business aviation publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova

The first of the Italian Air Force’s G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) aircraft has left Gulfstream’s Savannah manufacturing facility. The aircraft departed on September 29 to Shannon, Ireland using its Gulfstream test registration N849GA.

Following a night stop in Shannon, G550 CAEW (MSN 5429) flew on to Tel Aviv Israel, where the aircraft will be outfitted by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI)

The Italian Air Force placed a $750 million order in 2012 for two G550s as part of a counter deal for the Israeli Air Force’s purchase of 30 Italian built fighter jet trainers.

As part of the deal, IAI will also provide ground support systems and logistical support package.

Based on the 500+ selling Gulfstream G550, the G550 CAEW includes the Elta EL/W-2085 phased airborne early warning radar, electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT).

So far there are only a handful of G550 CAEW aircraft are in service; Four are in operation with the Israeli Air Force, and a further two with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

However the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said in 2014 that they were intending to purchase an undisclosed number of aircraft.

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