Saab's GlobalEye swing-role surveillance aircraft completed a 1h 46min debut flight from Linköping in Sweden on 14 March, less than three weeks after its formal unveiling.
Carrying the temporary registration SE-RMY, the heavily modified Bombardier Global 6000 demonstrated "smooth handling, just as predicted," according to Saab experimental test pilot Magnus Fredriksson. The debut included "collecting extensive flight-test data using the on-board instrumentation suite," the company adds.
Noting that the first flight was conducted swiftly following the GlobalEye's roll-out for launch customer the United Arab Emirates on 23 February, Anders Carp, head of Saab's surveillance business unit, says: "We are on track with our production."
The UAE will take delivery of three GlobalEye aircraft, having signed a combined development and production deal in November 2015. Saab late last month declined to disclose the expected duration of its flight-test campaign with the modified business jet, or to reveal its delivery schedule for the type. Both remaining aircraft are already in the modification process in Linköping, however.
Adaptations to the baseline Global 6000 have been made to enable it to operate with a Saab Erieye ER airborne early warning radar mounted above its fuselage, plus a Leonardo Seaspray 7500E maritime surveillance radar and an electro-optical/infrared sensor beneath. The combination will enable the aircraft to provide simultaneous coverage of airborne, maritime and land targets.