Israel to buy US SIGINT planes with aid

The deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Israel will convert the planes for electronic intelligence.

Sources inform “Globes” that Israel will use the upcoming US military aid to buy intelligence gathering planes in the US. The deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Defense establishment sources told “Globes” that Israel will buy three planes to gather signal intelligence (SIGINT). The Air Forced decided to replace the current Hawkeye planes that have been in use for decades, and have become obsolescent.

The Air Force will buy Gulfstream 5 jets built by General Dynamic (NYSE:GD) subsidiary Gulfstream Aerospace. The Air Force chose the Gulfstream over the Boeing 737, which was found to be less suitable.

The Ministry of Defense reached an agreement with the US administration on the following points, after several months of negotiations: the US will finance the procurement; the planes will be US manufacture as government furnished equipment; and the planes will be transferred to Israel for conversion to SIGINT use.

Israel Aircraft Industries subsidiary Elta Electronics Industries will carry out the conversion and install the SIGINT equipment. Elta will earn NIS 300 million from the deal.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on November 26, 2002

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