Israel’s Elbit Systems has awarded a contract valued at approximately US$103 million to supply comprehensive Electronic Warfare (EW) suites for an Air Force of an Asian country. The contract will be performed over a three-year period and includes long-term integrated logistic support.
Under the contract, Elbit Systems will fit the customer’s helicopters with complete EW suites, including countermeasure systems. Elbit says the EW suites will provide the helicopters with advanced protection to achieve the customer’s operational requirements.
Edgar Maimon, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT–Elisra, said that the company is well-positioned to address the rising needs from potential customers for aircraft protection systems.
“Demand for combat-proven EW systems is getting stronger as the electro-magnetic spectrum becomes increasingly contested and the threat to aircraft gets more acute. I believe that Elbit Systems is well positioned to address this rising need.”
As is often the case, the Elbit announcement contains no details about who the customer is, what or how many systems have been ordered and what platform it is for. However, DRA believes that the end user in this case is Singapore, which has outstanding orders for (officially) undisclosed numbers of Boeing CH-47F Chinooks and Airbus H225M transport helicopters.
DRA has been told by an industry source Singapore has 16 CH-47Fs on order, which tallies with the appearance in mid-February of a similar number of CH-47Fs on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) civilian aircraft registry.
The helicopters were placed on the FAA registry by Boeing, the manufacturer of the Chinook and is usually a precursor for newly-built aircraft to fly in U.S. airspace for flight and other testing.
Military platforms appearing on the FAA registry is usually a sign that the aircraft are destined for a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) customer, as opposed to a government-to-government Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft which receive U.S. military registration.
As far as we are aware, Singapore is the only DCS customer for the CH-47F with outstanding aircraft, with the other known DCS Chinook customer India having its 15 helicopters already on the FAA’s registry.
Boeing had earlier declined to comment on DRA’s queries about the 16 new Chinooks on the FAA registry, which have been given the U.S. civilian registrations N271GG to N286GG in running order, while Singapore’s defence ministry issued a generic statement about Singapore’s CH-47F acquisition without addressing the question directly.
Singapore and Israel have close defence relations stretching back decades, both countries’ secretive posture with regards to defence acquisitions and other related matters dovetailing perfectly with one another.
However, Elbit’s All-in-Small aircraft self-protection system has been seen on the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s CH-47SD Chinooks and AH-64D Apaches, with a number of the helicopters in both fleets having been upgraded. The All-in-Small has also been integrated onto India’s recently-delivered CH-47Fs.
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