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Pakistan’s Erieye AEW&C Follow-On Order Now Proceeding?
December 11, 2018

Pakistan’s Erieye AEW&C Follow-On Order Now Proceeding?

In April and May 2018, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) took delivery of numerous items from Saab AB, notably radar equipment from Saab’s Surveillance Headquarters in Gothenburg/Göteborg and a bevy of additional secured equipment from the Swedish defence giant. Considering that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) placed an order for three additional Saab 2000-based Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in May 2017, it is possible that Saab’s deliveries this year indicate the implementation phase of this order.

The deliveries can be examined from the following open-source export-import (EXIM) registries:

Background on the Pakistan Erieye AEW&C Program

In 2006, Pakistan had agreed to procure six Saab 2000-based Erieye AEW&C aircraft from Saab along with a baseline Saab 2000 (i.e. seven aircraft) for a total of $1.15 billion US. However, to reallocate resources for the reconstruction effort in Kashmir (following the earthquake of 2005), the PAF trimmed its order to four Erieye AEW&C and one baseline Saab 2000 (i.e. five aircraft). Although the PAF received and inducted these aircraft, an attack on Minhas Air Base in 2012 rendered three of the four aircraft inoperable.


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In the aftermath of the 2012 attack, one of the three affected aircraft was written-off, while the two were severely damaged. Shortly thereafter, the PAF embarked on recovering the two damaged aircraft through a domestic rebuild, testing and certification process at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

The PAF’s Air Commodore Rizwan Riaz (PhD in Aerodynamics), Air Commodore Shakeel Safdar (PhD in Structural Design and Repair) and Wing Commander Muhammad Rafiq had outlined on national television (PTV) the recovery process of the Erieye AEW&C aircraft. The PAF returned the first aircraft to service in 2015, with the second following in 2016. Thus, the PAF’s Erieye AEW&C fleet was restored to three aircraft by 2017, with Alan Warnes reporting (in May 2017) of the PAF ordering another three aircraft.[1] According to Alan Warnes, the first of the three follow-on aircraft was due for delivery in December 2017.[2]…

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[1] Alan Warnes. “Pakistan to get more Erieyes”. Air Forces Monthly. 19 May 2017. URL: http://www.airforcesmonthly.com/2017/05/19/pakistan-to-get-more-erieyes/ (Last Accessed: 24 February 2018).

[2] Ibid.

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