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.

GlobalEye take-off - Saab


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.

GlobalEye debut - Saab


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.

GlobalEye lands - Saab


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.