Saab has performed the first flight of its fourth GlobalEye surveillance aircraft from a five-unit commitment with launch customer the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Conducted from the Swedish company’s Linkoping site on 3 April, the debut involved the Bombardier Global 6000-based airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform undergoing “several tests related to the aircraft’s capabilities”, it says.
In a change from the UAE’s three previously delivered examples, the latest aircraft has gained a new antenna fairing on either side of its forward fuselage side. These are located under the windows beneath the forward mounting for its Saab Erieye ER active electronically scanned array radar.
“With respect to the specific customer’s aircraft, Saab refrains from commenting on the precise configuration,” the company says. “But our excellent in-house capabilities enable us to design, develop, produce and integrate new features on GlobalEye,” it adds.
“We are very satisfied with this successful first flight of another GlobalEye,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, head of Saab’s Surveillance business unit. “This confirms that we have the infrastructure, the capabilities and the expertise necessary to support our customers with the most advanced AEW&C solution in a timeframe that is unmatched in the market.”
The UAE has received three GlobalEyes since 2020, with its two other on-order examples due to be delivered in 2024.
Sweden also has ordered an initial two of the type, from a potential eventual requirement for four, while Saab also is promoting the surveillance platform to meet future NATO requirements.