Armed Over the Sea

Airbus is offering a new naval reconnaissance aircraft armed with an advanced air-to-sea missile. The aircraft is also equipped with Elta's early-warning system
Armed Over the Sea

Another use for the Airbus C-295 transport aircraft may provide more work for Israel Aerospace Industries. Airbus and IAI are conducting negotiations with several potential clients for the acquisition of the C-295 transport aircraft, which is equipped with an early-warning system produced by Elta, IAI's subsidiary.

Both companies have been cooperating in this matter after having signed a memorandum of understandings. The idea is to convert the transport aircraft into an early-warning aircraft equipped with additional Elta-produced radar and sensors.

Elta already provided EW systems on various aircraft, but according to sources, the cooperation with Airbus has considerable potential due to the efficient platform and the integration of Elta's systems. Negotiations are already underway with at least three countries showing an interest in the new early-warning system onboard Airbus's platform.

Both companies are offering different variants of the aircraft, with emphasis on certain sensors, according to client requests.

Airbus offers the aircraft armed with missiles for countering naval vessels and, as previously reported by IsraelDefense, equipped with a cannon for dealing with ground targets. An initial test of the aircraft was carried out while equipped with air-to-sea missiles.

It seems that there will be clients for this configuration, which may provide work for IAI as well, as clients will undoubtedly also want to equip such an aircraft with various early-warning systems of the type produced by Elta. Sources say that the integration of a naval reconnaissance aircraft equipped with weapon systems such as advanced air-to-sea missiles, of the kind that was recently tested, may generate considerable interest.