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FARNBOROUGH: Saab to outfit Saab 2000 as maritime patrol aircraft demonstrator

Swedish defence company Saab will modify a Saab 2000 to become a maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) demonstrator.

The aircraft, along with the smaller and already-existing Saab 340 MPA demonstrator, is meant to open new markets for Saab amid falling budgets.

The modification will showcase what Saab hopes will be a solace of growth despite declining defence budgets. Global demand for maritime patrol is increasing as large nations shift attention towards securing sea lanes of communication.

Although the Saab 2000 is no longer in production, the company is studying a production restart to keep up with increased demand for turboprop aircraft in both civil and military roles.

"We have been looking into the possibilities of restarting the Saab 2000 with some colleagues in India," says Saab president and chief executive officer Hakan Buskhe.

Despite falling budgets in its traditional markets, Buskhe anticipates growth for the Saab. The global defence budget is increasing, especially in "developing" areas. "That's why we're moving our head offices from Sweden to offices around the world," Bushke says.

Saab has started research and development centres in India and Brazil, which are both large and growing defence markets.

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