The Saab 2000 regional turboprop could be adapted for maritime patrol applications under a new proposal by the Swedish airframer.
Eyeing potential future requirements in nations including the UK, Saab has unveiled plans for a 2000-based maritime patrol aircraft dubbed the Swordfish. And while no formal discussions have been held with the UK's Ministry of Defence, the company has already assembled a team of local partners to create the new special mission asset.
Selex Galileo would provide its Seaspray 7500 maritime surveillance radar, and Ultra Electronics an active acoustic system for use in the detection of submarine threats. FLIR Systems would supply a high-definition electro-optical/infrared sensor pod. Commercial Saab 2000 operator Eastern Airways could also deliver in-service support.
The Swordfish would have a typical on-station endurance of 5.5h while operating 200nm (370km) away from its originating base, Saab says.
Multiple contractors are eyeing the UK as a potential future market for maritime patrol aircraft, following the cancellation of its BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 programme. However, the MoD has no funded programme to replace the capability before 2020 at least.
"We are very focused on offering a cost-effective and affordable solution," says Matthew Smith, Saab's business development director for surveillance solutions. Noting that the company now has a full family of systems to offer, he adds: "We're here to answer any questions for potential customers."
Saab previously sold an airborne early warning derivative of the Saab 2000 using refurbished aircraft to Pakistan and another undisclosed nation, which Flightglobal's MiliCAS database lists as being Saudi Arabia. It also has on offer an Air Tracer version for signals intelligence applications.
The company is also displaying its Saab 340 maritime surveillance aircraft at Farnborough for the first time.