Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The State Department approved a possible $500 million sale of two fully equipped Gulfstream G550 Aircraft to Italy Tuesday.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Italy's government requested two aircraft and supporting equipment including four Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems, three GPS security devices and four (4) RIO Communications Intelligence Systems.
Italy also requested that up to six additional U.S. contractors work in Italy for a year train personnel in use of the new equipment.
"The proposed sale supports and complements the ongoing efforts of Italy to modernize its airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Electronic Warfare capability and increases interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the Italian Air Force (ITAF). Italy will have no difficulty absorbing these articles into its armed forces," the DSCA's announcement said.
At the end of October Italy approved a $1.4 billion three-year defense spending plan -- as well as a host of "unfunded future priorities" that include the acquisition of two Gulfstream 550s and the development of its own similar aircraft.
The Gulfstream is a private business jet also used by the Air Force for transportation of elected officials, cabinet secretaries and top generals.