Saab rolled out its first GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform during a ceremony at the company’s Linkoping production facility in Sweden on 23 February.
The aircraft is the first of the company’s Bombardier Global 6000 business jet-based GlobalEye AEW&C systems to be revealed to the public, and is to shortly embark on a ground- and flight-trials campaign to gather aerodynamic data as part of the ongoing development and production programme ahead of the commencement of deliveries to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As the type’s launch customer, the UAE signed for two GlobalEye aircraft under its previously held moniker of Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) in late 2015, with a third being ordered in early 2017 (at the same time as the deal was announced, it was revealed that the country's two existing Erieye systems fitted to Saab 340 turboprops would also be upgraded).
The GlobalEye is built around the Saab Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar, and while the company has kept the external dorsal fin configuration of the original Erieye system, it has fitted it with new and largely undisclosed technology. Saab said the Erieye ER is resistant to jamming, and features a doubling of the radar’s power efficiency compared with previous Erieye iterations. It also comes with all-weather functionality in all domains (air, sea, and land surveillance), and an “extremely high” tracking update rate against targets-of-interest.
The company has previously given a figure of 650 km plus for the radar’s range, but being an active electronically scanned array (AESA) system means that this can be increased dramatically by focusing the energy at a particular area. The system has been said to “take the drama out of stealth” in its ability to detect low observable aircraft, Saab said.
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