Saab is promoting its GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) and Swordfish maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for separate requirements that it expects to be issued by the South Korean government.
Briefing at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2017, company officials noted how the two business jet-based solutions would suit the South Korean’s needs and offer a superior capability at a reduced acquisition and sustainment cost.
“There is a P-8-class [MPA] procurement rumour for Korea. We believe that this will be an FMS [Foreign Military Sales] deal with a particular supplier in mind, but we are strong enough to meet the requirements [with the Swordfish] and would happily participate if asked,” said Martin Malmfors, Head of Marketing and Sales, South Korea. “The GlobalEye could work for Korea as it looks to boost [AEW&C] numbers. The Swordfish and GlobalEye are the value propositions.”
In terms of potential timelines for both the anticipated MPA and AEW&C requirements, Malmfors was unable to say when either might be formalised with a request for proposals. “We know there are requirements, but when they will happen we don’t yet know,” He said. Both the GlobalEye and Swordfish are hosted on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet, sharing 70% commonality in structures and systems.
The GlobalEye is built around the Saab S-band (2 to 4 GHz) Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar, and while the company has kept the external dorsal fin configuration it has fitted it with completely new and largely undisclosed technology. Saab said that the Erieye ER was resistant to jamming, and featured a doubling of the radar’s power efficiency compared with previous Erieye iterations. It also came with all-weather functionality in all domains (air, sea. and land surveillance), and an “extremely high” tracking update rate against targets-of-interest. Malmfors gave a figure of 650 km-plus for the radar’s range, though being an AESA system this can be increased dramatically by focusing the energy at a particular area.
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