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Israel completes $1.17 billion defense deal with Italy

Israel and Italy finalized a $1.17 billion reciprocal procurement deal Sunday, with the Jewish state delivering a second advanced reconnaissance jet to the Italian Air Force.

An Italian M-346 plane. Credit: Gian Marco Anzellotti via Wikimedia Commons.
An Italian M-346 plane. Credit: Gian Marco Anzellotti via Wikimedia Commons.

Israel and Italy finalized a $1.17 billion reciprocal procurement deal on Sunday, with the Jewish state delivering a second advanced reconnaissance jet to the Italian Air Force.

The deal, originally inked in 2012, saw the Israeli Air Force purchase 30 Leonardo M-346 Lavi training jets. In return, Italy acquired two G550 Conformal Airborne Early Warning and Control (CAEW) surveillance planes, amounting to the equivalent value of the Israeli purchase.

“The system reflects the deep and fruitful cooperation between the Italian and Israeli defense ministries, including the understanding on each side of the needs and challenges facing the other,” said Dr. Danny Gold, head of Israel’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.

The reconnaissance planes, developed by the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries, are equipped with the CAEW system, which provides a full aerial and maritime awareness to crews.

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