Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) announced a new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) designated ELI-3360 and based on the Bombardier Global 5000 business jet. The company’s ELTA subsidiary will provide the core mission systems. IAI claims that the ELI-3360 will have the most sophisticated surveillance, reconnaissance and armament systems yet installed on a business jet.
The core of the system will be the ELTA ELM-2022 maritime radar, which has already enjoyed considerable export success. There will also be an ESM/ELINT system (the ELL-8385); an electro-optical sensor; a comprehensive communications suite; and an electronic warfare and self-protection suite. The command and control system will feature multi-purpose operator workstations and control the anti-submarine and anti-ship weapons that can be carried on four underwing stations.
In choosing Bombardier, IAI has moved away from previous partner Gulfstream Aerospace, whose business jets were the platform for IAI’s Conformal Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) aircraft as well as conversions for radar and Sigint surveillance. “We are delighted that IAI ELTA continues to put their confidence in the Global 5000 aircraft, relying on the platform to host its integrated mission solutions,” said Stephane Villeneuve, vice president for specialized aircraft, Bombardier. In fact, IAI has not previously announced a Global 5000 conversion, but AIN understands that a Sigint adaptation of the jet was flown, certified and delivered to India last year.
In an obvious reference to competing MPA such as the Boeing P-8 Poseidon and the Airbus Defence & Space C295, IAI claims that “cost-effective business jets [offer] high endurance, speed, range and multi-mission versatility that is unmatched by large commercial transport aircraft or turboprops.” The Israeli air force (IAF) could be a customer for the ELI-3360; its current dedicated MPA fleet comprises a few Beechcraft B200T King Airs and three IAI 1124N Seascans based on the old and much smaller Westwind business jet.