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Italian airborne early warning plane conducts flights in Estonian airspace

A Gulfstream G550 CAEW of the Italian Air Force.
A Gulfstream G550 CAEW of the Italian Air Force. Source: Aeronautica Militare

An Italian Gulfstream G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) has taken part in scheduled NATO military exercises in Estonia. The Italian Air Force has carried out duties as part of the alliance's Baltic air policing mission since January this year.

The Italian Air Force has operated its Gulfstream early warning planes since 2016. They are based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet, but modified with military surveillance equipment by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Italy received the second plane of the type earlier this year.

Italy's Aeronautica Militare took over Baltic air policing duties from the Belgians in January this year. This is the first time personnel and equipment of the Italian Air Force is stationed in Estonia.

The Italians have contributed to the air policing mission before, but out of the Šiauliai air base in Lithuania, while this time they are based at Estonia's Ämari airbase.

During its four-month stint, the Aeronautica Militare is guarding the Baltic states' northern airspace with their four Eurofighter Typhoon jets. The home base of the unit is the Gioia del Colle air base in the Province of Bari in Apulia in southern Italy.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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