The Italian Air Force has received first of two conformal airborne early warning and control system (CAEW) based G-550 Gulfstream aircraft from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The aircraft has been delivered as part of a reciprocal defence agreement signed in 2012.

Under the agreement, the second CAEW G550 is expected to be delivered to the airforce next year.

IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss said: "As part of the strengthening of our close relations with Italy and European industry, we are pleased to hand over the CAEW, one of IAI's most advanced systems, representing the next generation in mission aircraft, to the Italian Ministry of Defense.

"CAEW is one of IAI's most advanced systems, representing the next generation in mission aircraft."

“We are proud that this joint development programme between IAI, Italian industry, and the Italian Ministry of Defense, has been highly successful and met the challenging schedule. We look forward to continuing this model of international cooperation with additional countries and customers."

Development by IAI's subsidiary, ELTA systems, the CAEW is an early warning and air control system that provides aerial and maritime situational awareness with 360° surveillance of airborne targets at all altitudes, over any terrain and in any weather conditions, including maritime surveillance and electronic surveillance.

It can also operate at long ranges with extended flight time.

The G550 CAEW solution is built on radar installed on the sides of the aircraft, IAI said in a statement.

Image: Italy has received the first of two CAEW-based G-550 Gulfstream aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.