UAE Orders New Airborne Surveillance System from Saab

Swedish Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to expand and enhance the country’s airborne surveillance capabilities. Under the terms of the $1.27 billion contract, announced on November 8 at the Dubai Airshow, Saab will deliver a new airborne Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) incorporating a new version of the Saab Erieye radar system. The order value amounts to approximately USD1.27 billion.

The new SRSS for the UAE uses the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet airframe as the platform for the system. The SRSS is capable of simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple targets in the air, on land and at sea. It is the latest evolution of the Erieye system that the company says incorporates Saab’s many decades of radar capabilities across all domains.

Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab, said: “The new version of Erieye is without a doubt the most capable airborne early warning and control system on the market. Saab’s capability to develop high technology solutions for customers shows that our focus on research and development is the right way to ensure continued competitiveness on the defence market.” Micael Johansson, head of Saab Business Area Electronic Defence Systems, said: “Saab understands the vital importance of advanced airborne surveillance and we have a family of products that play a key role in defence and civil security. The UAE’s selection of Saab’s solution confirms our strong position regarding airborne surveillance and systems integration.”

The work on the SRSS will be carried out at Saab’s facilities in Gothenburg, Linköping, Järfälla, Arboga, Luleå and Centurion (South Africa).  Bushke, said the sensor systems currently in development had been tested on a variety of airframes, but the Global 6000 was found to be the most suitable platform. The UAE will be the first customer for the new system.

UAE Ministry of Defence executive director of strategic analysis, Major General Abdullah Al Hashimi, speaking at the press conference in Dubai announcing the deal, said that it will also include upgrade of the two AEW Saab 340s already in UAE Air Force and Air Defence service. Both are former Swedish Air Force S100B Argus aircraft that were purchased second-hand by the UAE in November 2009. Alan Warnes