The Saab group has been awarded a contract to deliver an Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) system comprising the Saab 2000 aircraft platform equipped with the ERIEYE airborne early warning radar system. The contract comprises a Saab 2000 aircraft equipped with the advanced ERIEYE radar system, ground equipment, logistics and support services, to be delivered over a period of 4.5 years. The identity of the customer has not been released but it is assumed to be Saudi-Arabia. The number of aircraft to be delivered has not been released as well.
Earlier this year the UAE has ordered two smaller Erieye AEW systems based on the saab 340 platform. At the time official sources at the UAE explained the w340 is an interim solution, and that the country is still undecided on the long-term plans for its objective AEW capability, considering the Saab 2000, Boeing 737 and Northrop Grumman E-2D. Other nations in the region interested in acquiring AEW capability include Oman and Kuwait.
Another country that could be interested in such capabilities is South Africa where Saab sold the Gripen fighter aircraft and also operates local subsidiaries. In 2008 the use of Erieye was considered to bolster aerial surveillance and security during the World Cup games this year. However, the presence of such aircraft during the games was not reported. According to Saab, the Erieye airborne surveillance system in combination with the ground equipment provide a detailed picture of a situation which can be used in connection with, for example, border surveillance, rescue operations as well as in combating terrorism and organized crime.
“This contract can be seen as a further confirmation of our strong position in the world regarding not only the area of airborne surveillance but in systems integration and data fusion as well, says Håkan Buskhe,” CEO, Saab. “This surveillance system will provide the customer with improved solutions for defense and civil security.”
Saab’s ERIEYE radar is currently operated by the Swedish Air Force and Royal Thai Air Force and the UAE Air Force (on Saab 340 platforms). Brazil, Mmexico and Greece operate it on the Embraer 145 platform. The only Saab-2000 sofar is Pakistan.