Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus Military, a division of the European aviation consortium, for the development of a “flying radar station.” IAI will develop with Airbus an early warning system for the Airbus Military C295 plane, a multi-purpose plane that can operate in difficult and remote areas, easily reconfigured for various missions it needs to undertake.
In a statement at the Paris Air Show Tuesday, Nissim Hadas, the president of IAI's Elta subsidiary, announced that he had signed an agreement on the deal with Airbus Military CEO Domingo Urena. Hadas said that “Emerging conflicts across the globe are emphasizing the importance of special mission fleets. We are sure that by joining forces, we will offer the market the right solution with the right technology.”
Most early warning aircraft operated by large armies, including the U.S., Nato, Russia, China and India are large planes, based on four engine passenger or cargo aircraft. IAI and Airbus said Tuesday that they saw a need for a much smaller, cheaper plane that would be able to undertake man of the same missions, providing long-term surveillance with less chance of detection.
The MOU was signed at the Paris Air Show. Hadas said that although the product was announced only on Tuesday, the IAI booth at the show has gotten numerous requests for information on the plane.