The Swedish armed forces are to begin operating AAI's Shadow 200 unmanned aircraft system, under a new deal worth around SKr500 million ($63.5 million).

Two complete Shadow 200 systems will be delivered by the fourth quarter of 2011, totalling a combined eight tactical air vehicles, four ground control stations (GCS), two portable GCS and eight remote video terminals.

AAI says it will also supply associated components and support equipment under its $31.4 million subcontract with Saab Aeronautics. The Swedish company was tasked with selecting a proven UAS type on behalf of the nation's Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

Saab says its deal with the FMV also involves the provision of personnel training activities, plus "equipment, technical maintenance and spare parts" over a three-year period.

Shadow systems have now logged more than 500,000 flight hours, according to AAI, "the majority of which have taken place in Iraq and Afghanistan".

 Shadow 200 - US Army
© US Army

Sweden will lead one of the European Union's two battlegroup organisations for the first half of 2011, with the 2,000-strong Nordic Battlegroup to be held at short notice to respond to international crises. Given its 1 January ready date, it is unlikely that the new Shadow UAS will be available for any such operations.

The Swedish army has previously operated Sagem's Sperwer tactical UAS, which the service designated as the Ugglan ("Owl").

Source: Flight International