News

News

Monday
May, 20
More

    Italy reveals plans for converting Gulfstream jets

    Featured in:

    ROME — The Italian Air Force plans to convert two Gulfstream jets into electronic attack Compass Call variants, with an option for a third.

    The jets are to be converted from six Gulfstream aircraft Italy already has on order, with the remainder to be converted into early warning variants, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press on the record.

    The decision ends uncertainty over what the Air Force plans to do with the unconverted Gulfstream jets it ordered.

    Last year, Air Force chief Gen. Luca Goretti told Defense News the service wants six aircraft converted into a mix of electronic attack and early warning versions, without providing further details.

    The U.S. is currently testing the electronic attack version of the Gulfstream G550. The aircraft, known as the EC-37B Compass Call, contains electronics transferred from older EC-130H aircraft, which have been in service for decades with the U.S. Air Force and cannot manage the speed and altitude of the more modern Gulfstream.

    The aircraft’s systems are designed to disrupt enemy command-and-control, communications, radars, and navigation systems.

    Italy is now trying to receive U.S. approval to update its Gulfstreams to the same standard. An Italian Defence Ministry document published last month indicated such an arrangement would involve a commercial deal with American defense contractor L3Harris Technologies — which is working to integrate Compass Call electronic warfare technology into the G550 — and a foreign military sale negotiated through the U.S. government for the acquisition of the mission system.

    If the U.S. approves the deal, it will enhance the capabilities of the Italian Air Force’s 10-strong Gulfstream fleet, which stemmed from the 2012 acquisition of two jets in the Conformal Airborne Early Warning format from Israel Aerospace Industries.

    The jets have spent the last year flying missions close to Ukraine to monitor the airspace near the country, which is fighting a Russian invasion.

    Italy also cut a deal in 2020 with the U.S. to obtain two more G550s for signals intelligence in a standard dubbed Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare.

    The government document released last month said Italy would pay €1.22 billion (U.S. $1.33 billion) for those two jets and the other six unconvereted G550s. A further €925 million would cover conversion work on four of the six aircraft, and another €167 million for specific work on the Compass Call conversions, the document stated.

    Find us on

    Latest articles

    - Advertisement -

    Related articles

    Stratolaunch sets sights on hypersonic speeds for next Talon-A...

    Following a successful test flight in which its Talon-A vehicle reached near-hypersonic speeds, Stratolaunch is preparing...

    Britain finalizes deal to buy 14 Chinook helicopters

    LONDON — Britain’s defense secretary has committed to a deal to acquire a new fleet of...

    Revamped KC-46 vision system slipping into 2026, nearly two...

    The rollout of the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker’s new remote vision system will likely slip into...

    Pentagon may build a second track for hypersonic ground...

    The Pentagon is exploring options to build a second track to test hypersonic systems that can...

    India approves full development of fifth-generation fighter

    CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has given a green light to continue...

    Pentagon clears F-35 for full-rate production

    The Defense Department said Tuesday it has officially made its long-awaited decision to move forward with...