Dubai Airshow 2015: UAE signs with Saab for two surveillance aircraft and upgrades

The UAE Air Force and Air Defence (UAE AF & AD) signed a USD1.27 billion contract for the procurement of two new Saab surveillance aircraft and the upgrade of two others, the company said on 9 November.

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The contract, which was announced at the Dubai Airshow 2015, will see the UAE receive two of the latest versions of Saab’s Erieye airborne surveillance systems fitted aboard Bombardier Global 6000 business jet host aircraft, as well as the upgrade of the country’s two existing Erieye systems that are fitted to Saab 340 turboprops.

As noted by Saab, the new Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) being procured by the UAE is the most advanced version of the Erieye system to date, in that it will provide surveillance capabilities over air, land, and sea. “This is a significant step forward in capability, in that it is effectively a combined AWACS [Airborne Warning And Control System], JSTARS [Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System], and MPA [maritime patrol aircraft] in one,” a company representative told IHS Jane’s .

Although not confirmed by either Saab or the UAE, it is understood that the two Erieye systems that have been in service since 2010 will be upgraded to this same standard.

Saab did not reveal delivery timelines for the new contract, citing a request for confidentiality from the customer, not did it provide details of the SRSS system beyond an aircraft model that showed it to be based on the same dorsal ‘plank’ antenna configuration as the baseline Erieye. This baseline Erieye features an electronic-warfare suite that includes electronic support, threat-warning and countermeasures dispensing subsystems, an identification friend or foe (IFF) subsystem, command-and-control (C2) capabilities, and a ground-based mission trainer.

A company representative told IHS Jane’s that the SRSS will not necessarily become the new baseline version of the Erieye to be offered to all future customers, as not every operator will have the need for such an advanced capability.

Source: IHS Janes’s

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