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Pakistan Air Force Takes Delivery of 3 Saab 2000 Aircraft

According to publicly available import and export (EXIM) registries, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) received three Saab 2000 aircraft on 06 April 2019. These Saab 2000s appear to be from an order of three aircraft made by Pakistan’s Directorate General of Defence Purchases (DGDP) in February 2018.

Skyworld Aviation, an aircraft sales and leasing broker, delivered the aircraft – i.e., J-038, J-024, and J-062 – to the DGDP in November 2018. The PAF had originally ordered five Saab 2000s, i.e., four to house the Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system and one for VIP flights and training.

In 2012, one of the four Erieye AEW&C was written-off, while two were seriously damaged. However, the two damaged aircraft were repaired at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and, in turn, resulted in PAC building depot-level maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities.

In 2017, the PAF reportedly ordered three additional Erieye AEW&C aircraft (Air Forces Monthly), of which the first was slated for delivery in December 2017 and the remaining two in 2018. If completed, this would raise the PAF fleet to six, which it trimmed to four following the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir.

Quwa’s examination of EXIM logs show that Saab made major radar equipment deliveries to Pakistan in 2017 and 2018. In March 2019, Sweden’s Inspectorate of Strategic Products confirmed that Saab sold an Erieye AEW&C system to Pakistan in 2018.[1] However, the Inspectorate had reportedly added that this Erieye order was in relation to the PAF’s original order (i.e., to replace the written-off unit), and that “no new export transactions have been approved to Pakistan since 2007.”[2]

[1] Guy Anderson. “Swedish exports remain static after reforms.” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly. 20 March 2019.

[2] Ibid.

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