IAI, Airbus Military to develop airborne warning systems

Sources say the deal is expected to bring in several hundred million dollars in to Israel Aerospace Industries over the next five years.

June 22, 2011 06:07
1 minute read.
The Airbus C295

Airbus C295 311. (photo credit: Airbus Military)


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Israel Aerospace Industries and the Madrid-based Airbus Military signed a joint venture agreement on Tuesday for the development of small and versatile Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AEW&C).

Sources said that the deal was expected to bring in several hundred million dollars in revenue to IAI over the next five years.

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IAI already offers customers AEW&Cs on Gulfstream G550 business jets that are in service in the Israel Air Force. The new system will be offered aboard Airbus’s C295 tactical transport aircraft optimized to takeoff and land on short runways.

The C295, sources said, was cheaper than the Gulfstream jet and also slightly smaller.

Nissim Hadas, president of IAI subsidiary Elta Systems, signed the memorandum of understanding with Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña on Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.

The C295 AEW&C is designed to provide high quality 360° surveillance and to create real-time integrated air and maritime situational awareness.

A C295 fitted with a dome for the radar is currently conducting flight trials at an Airbus Military facility in Spain. Sources said initial tests have shown that the aircraft is aerodynamically suitable to serve as an AEW&C.

“Airbus Military and IAI/ELTA’s superior capabilities in special mission aircraft, advanced sensors and system integration enable us to provide an effective and proven solution for these growing needs,” Hadas said.

Two systems that received a great deal of attention at the Israeli pavilion – one of the largest at the Paris Air Show – were the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system and Trophy, the anti-tank missile defense system, both developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Opening the pavilion on Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised Israel’s technological achievement in developing the Iron Dome and promised to complete the production of enough of the systems to protect the northern and southern borders by 2013.

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