A Month in the Life of an Italian CAEW

The Italian Air Force Gulfstream E.550 CAEW is a multi-sensor system with functions of aerial surveillance, command, control, and communications, instrumental to air supremacy and support to ground forces. It is the only NATO asset currently possessing these characteristics.

Italy is the only country to have this operational machine, currently owning two units. Therefore, we wanted to see how they are managed, also in anticipation of a possible (but never confirmed) deployment of one of these assets in the area of the Red Sea.

The first observation is that, as of today, the only CAEW that seems to be fully operational is MM62293, while the other unit, MM62203, has been grounded at Pratica di Mare AB since December 27th. Obviously, this does not mean that no flights have been carried out since then, but it is very likely.

From the map we see above, the entire activity is thus managed by MM62939, which in the last month (to which the flights reported here refer) has predominantly engaged in training activities, conducting only two operational missions in northern Poland (the last one on February 28th).

We will see when the second CAEW will return to service and if one of the two assets will indeed be deployed to Djibouti.

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