Saab is waiting for more details on the UK’s potential maritime patrol aircraft requirements, but is actively promoting the potential of its proposed Swordfish aircraft for the role.
In a briefing at the Farnborough air show, Saab’s director air campaigns Matthew Smith says that company has been involved in talks and a number of studies with the UK on maritime patrol, but is yet to begin any formal sales process.
“We like to work with our customers to find out what their challenges are," he says, adding that at this stage “there is no requirement, no official requests".
Once those requirements are defined, Saab is expected to pitch its Swordfish multirole maritime patrol aircraft. Originally mooted in 2012 and based on the airframe of the Saab 2000 regional airliner, the proposed aircraft would feature an active electronically scanned array maritime radar, electro-optical sensor suite and sonobuoy launcher and other systems.
The aircraft would be capable of performing a range of missions, including anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, long-range search and rescue and signals intelligence support.
Saab has been working on integrating the various systems and sensors, but has not fitted them to a demonstrator aircraft.
Smith adds that the company has “a number of efforts going on around the world” to promote the Swordfish, as well as the smaller Saab 340 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. However, he declines to name the nations it has engaged with.