Alenia G-222VSIn 1981 the Italian electronics firm Elettronica completed the conversion of a single Alenia G-222 light turboprop transport (c/n 4012 serial MM62107) into a specialised Comint and Elint platform for Sigint missions. The completed aircraft was designated G-222VS (Versione Speciale) and entered service with 71 Gruppo of 14 Stormo based at Pratica di Mare, near Rome. Up to 8 mission operator workstations are provided in the fuselage the operators work for the Gruppo Analisi Elaborazioin Speciali (GRAES), the Analysis and Special Processing Squadron, which is also collocated on the base.
Very little is known about the operation of this aircraft other than it usually only participates in operations which are in the interests of Italian national security. It is understood that in the past the aircraft has usually been targeted against the former republic of Yugoslavia and Libya. However, it was also used extensively during the Kosovo crisis.
It is planned to replace the G-222VS with 2 converted C-130J aircraft sometime between 2005-6.