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Sweden signs for GlobalEyes

Sweden is to field two GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft, with the option for a further two. (Saab)

The Swedish government has contracted Saab to deliver two GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for the country's armed forces.

The manufacturer announced the order on 30 June, saying the SEK7.3 billion (USD716 million) order will see the two aircraft delivered in 2027. The contract includes options for a further two GlobalEyes, for a total fleet of four aircraft.

Coming about nine months after the Swedish Armed Forces submitted its request to the government to procure the GlobalEye in September 2021, the contract will enable the Swedish Air Force to replace its two ageing Saab 340 (ASC 890) Erieye platforms.

The GlobalEye is built around the Saab Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar that is housed in the same external dorsal ‘plank' as the company's original Erieye system. Equipped with gallium nitride and other technologies, the Erieye ER is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) system that doubles the radar's power efficiency compared with previous Erieye iterations. It has a range in excess of 650 km, which can be extended by focusing the radar's energy.

Saab has earlier said the Erieye ER is resistant to jamming, and features all-weather functionality in all domains (air, sea, and land surveillance) and an “extremely high” tracking update rate against targets of interest. Besides the radar, the aircraft is also equipped with the state-of-the-art Leonardo Seaspray 7500E AESA 360° multimode radar, as well as a Star SAFIRE 380-HD electro-optical/infrared sensor turret, an automatic identification system for shipping, an HES-21 electronic support measures suite, and countermeasures. Performance figures disclosed by Saab give the GlobalEye an endurance of more than 13 hours and a top speed of 450 kt.

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