US approves $500m sale of two Gulfstream G550 jets to Italy

16 December 2020 (Last Updated December 16th, 2020 11:43)

The US State Department has approved a possible $500m foreign military sale (FMS) of two Gulfstream G550 aircraft, with associated capabilities and equipment, to Italy.

US approves $500m sale of two Gulfstream G550 jets to Italy
Gulfstream G550. Credit: Edwin Leong.

The US State Department has approved a possible $500m foreign military sale (FMS) of two Gulfstream G550 aircraft, with associated capabilities and equipment, to Italy.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified the US Congress about the possible sale.

In a statement, DSCA said that Italy, a Nato member, placed a request for two Gulfstream G550 Aircraft with Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare (AISREW) Mission Systems.

The delivery will include four Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS), three Embedded/GPS/INS (EGI) with GPS security devices, as well as four RIO Communications Intelligence Systems.

Also included in the potential sale are Missile Warning Sensors, AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Sets (CMDS), MX-20HD Electro-Optical and Infra-Red systems, Osprey 50 AESA Radars, AISREW ISR equipment, secure communications equipment, identification friend or foe systems, aircraft modification and integration and ground systems for data processing and crew training as well as ground support equipment.

Additionally, the delivery will include publications and technical data, technical and logistics support services.

The principal contractor for the deal will be L3Harris. The Italian Government has also requested up to six additional US contractors, which will work for one year in Italy to support equipment familiarisation.

The procurement will help Italy in boosting its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as improving interoperability with the US Air Force.

Last month, the US State Department approved a possible FMS of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to the UAE.