The Italian Air Force welcomed its first Gulfstream G550 aircraft procured as part of the Joint Airborne Multisensor Multimission System (JAMMS) program in early March.
The aircraft is the first of several new G550 platforms the service will receive to enhance its airborne intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare (AISREW) capability.
The airframe was delivered in the “green” configuration, as it can be configured as either a conformal airborne early warning (CAEW) platform or as the joint airborne multisensor multimission system (JAMMS).
According to plans revealed in 2020, Italy plans to buy four airframes of each configuration, eventually bringing its fleet of special mission G550s to ten. The service already operates two CAEW aircraft delivered in 2016 and 2017 as part of a reciprocal deal from 2012 which saw Israel purchase 30 M-346 trainer aircraft from Italy’s Leonardo.
The Italian Air Force said the new aircraft would be joining the 14th Stormo (Wing), where it will be immediately be used in training and logistical transport activities.
It would undergo its conversion into the JAMMS configuration at a future date, which will include changes to the airframe in order to host a range of sensors necessary for the mission. The systems that would be integrated as part of the conversion will include MX-20HD electro-optical and infra-red systems, Osprey 50 AESA radars, and AISREW ISR equipment.
According to a 2020 US State Department approval for Italy’s purchase of equipment necessary for the conversion, this portion of work will be undertaken by L3Harris. Back in December 2020, the department gave its green light for the integration of two AISREW mission systems onto two G550s that would be supplied by the Italian defense ministry.