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IAF integrates miniaturized, long-distance AWACS

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February 19, 2008, 4:33 PM (GMT+02:00)




DEBKAfile’s military sources report: The Israeli Air Force’s 122 Nachshon

special missions squadron has taken delivery of the “Eitam” – a modified

GulfstreamGulfstream GG-550 executive jet, fitted with the newest Israeli

airborne early warning system (AEWAEW & C) developed by Israel’s EltaElta


Crammed onto the new, extra-small Eitam platform is a long-range

intelligence, target tracking and operational control system that can

produce aerial pictures deep inside enemy territory, while warning attack

formations of approaching threats.

Its electronic support measures (ESMESM) and communications equipment in

support of AEWAEW & C enable the Israeli Air Force’s intelligence and

electronic warfare arms to operate hundreds of kilometers inside enemy

territory. Eitam can cover Syria, without leaving Israeli air space and

target Iran from a great distance.

The new craft can stay airborne for 10 hours at the relatively safe altitude

of 40,000 feet. It also has an in-flight refueling capacity.

This third-generation system developed by Israel Air Industries/Elta Phalcom

is the first to be fitted into such a small airframe. Eitam is therefore a

smaller target than the conventional, large and expensive AWACs craft.

It is also designed to interface with Israel’s spy satellites, Dolphin

submarines which, according to foreign sources, are capable of carrying

nuclear cruise missiles, other Israeli early warning systems and the

IsraeliIsraeli DefenseDefense ForcesForces ground commands.

The three Eiatm craft delivered to the Nachshon squadron feature two radar

systems operating simultaneously on different frequency bands and, mounted

on their fuselage, phased array antennas that provide 360-degree coverage of

wide spaces. It replaces the E-2C aircraft retired in the 1990s.

Israel has taken orders for this miniaturized airborne early warning system

from India for its fleet of Ilyushin-76 aircraft and the Singapore Air


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