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Saab's new GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft completes maiden flight


A few weeks after having been officially presented to the press, the Saab GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft completed today its maiden flight, the Swedish aerospace and defense company announced on Twitter. 


Saab new GlobalEye AEW C aircraft completes maiden fligh 001 Saab's GlobalEye taking off from Linköping airport
(Credit: Twitter/Saab)


"GlobalEye takes off on historic first flight from Linköping, Sweden," said Saab on its Twitter account, showing a picture of the advanced AEW&C aircraft.

GlobalEye is an advanced, swing role airborne surveillance system based on a Global 6000 jet aircraft from Bombardier, which has undergone a thorough modification programme to adapt it for its role. The rollout marks a significant milestone on the programme.

Saab is currently producing the GlobalEye AEW&C, combining air, maritime and ground surveillance in one single solution. GlobalEye combines a full suite of sophisticated sensors including the powerful new extended range radar (Erieye ER), with the ultra-long range Global 6000 jet aircraft. According to Saab, the Erieye ER gives the aircraft a 70% increase of the detection range (about 650 km) compared to the previous version. The radar provides wide-area moving target indication (GMTI) as well as improved performance against small targets such as stealth aircraft, unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles or submarine periscopes.



Other major sensors include the Leonardo's Seaspray 7500E AESA search radar, providing the aircraft with a maritime surveillance role within a detection range of approximately 400 km. it also incorporates a FLIR Star Safire EO/IR gimbal, automatic identification system, IFF/ADS-B, and a wide range of communication systems, including undisclosed satcoms.

Besides the Asian and Latin-American markets, the GlobalEye will be tout for the NATO E-3A AWACS replacement program, planned to start in 2035. Existing Saab EW business line customers also shown interest in bolstering their airborne surveillance capabilities. Saab is also eyeing the Canadian market, which left then reentered the NATO AWACS fleet.

The development and production contract was awarded at the Dubai Air Show November 2015 by the United Arab Emirates with an initial order for two systems. An additional order by the UAE for a third system was announced in 2017. The GlobalEye solution brings extended detection range, endurance and the ability to perform multiple roles with one solution, including tasks such as search & rescue, border surveillance and military operations.

UAE is already flying two ex-Swedish Air Force Saab 340 AEW purchased in 2009 as an interim solution. The UAEAF selected the GlobalEye in 2015 as afinal settlement.

A global leader in airbone electronic warfare solutions, Saab already sold its platforms to eight countries: Sweden, Thailand, UAE, Mexico, Pakistan, Brazil, Greece, Saudi Arabia, and an unknown customer.