Saab announced that its airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) segment received a $153 million U.S. contract due to for delivery from 2017 to 2020. Saab expects to book the order within six months.
Saab states that its AEW&C platform “provides access to a detailed situational awareness that for example can be used for border surveillance, search and rescue operations and for tackling terrorism and organised crime.”
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Saab did not disclose the customer, but it may be the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has GlobalEye AEW&C systems on order from a $1.27 billion contract signed in November 2015. In fact, Saab announced a $238 million AEW&C sale to an undisclosed country in January; the UAE announced it the acquisition during the 2017 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) in Abu Dhabi. UAE intends to procure new-built AEW&C systems and upgrade kits for its existing Saab 340-based Erieye AEW&C.
The GlobalEye is the latest variant of the popular Erieye platform. It is centered on the Erieye Extended Range radar, which is a gallium nitride (GaN)-based active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar with a 70% range increase over the Erieye. It can also be coupled with an X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), lending the GlobalEye with ground-facing intelligence, surveillance, target-acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities. Saab markets the GlobalEye with the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet, which is also the platform of the Saab Swordfish maritime patrol aircraft.