Saab has been awarded a contract modification to modernise the Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) mission system, installed onboard the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB) E-99 surveillance aircraft fleet.

Covering enhancements to the Erieye radar’s operative capacity, the SEK325m ($50.7m) contract follows a SEK380m ($59m) award secured by the company for Erieye updates in February 2013, as part of the Embraer 145 AEW&C aircraft modernisation programme.

Awarded by the FAB’s Comissão Coordenadora do Programa Aeronave de Combate (COPAC), the contract also covers upgrades to the aircraft’s electronic warfare systems, command and control systems, and electronic countermeasures, as well as delivery of six mission planning and analysis stations.

Deliveries will commence from 2014 and continue until 2017.

Saab business area Electronic Defence Systems head Micael Johansson said: "The Brazilian Air Force’s Erieye system on the Embraer 145 has been in operational service for approximately ten years and with the new features now commissioned our Brazilian customer will get an even better system to control airspace and prevent criminal activities.”

Developed from the active phased-array pulse-Doppler radar, Erieye is a high-performance long-range radar designed for detection and tracking of both air and sea targets, including cruise missiles and jet-skis, located at ranges of up to 450km in hostile electronic warfare environments.

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Equipped with a suite of sensors, C2 and communications systems, the system is capable of transmitting onboard operator architecture or downlink data through an associated datalink subsystem to a ground-based air defence network.

Operational since 1997, the system is also mounted on the EMB-145 aircraft of Mexico and Greece, Saab 340 surveillance aircraft of the Swedish Air Force, as well as the Saab 2000 aircraft, intended for Pakistan.

Primarily used for environmental protection and natural resources survey, the E-99 aircraft are also flown for border surveillance from the Annapolis air force base, as part of the Amazon Surveillance System programme.

Image: A Brazilian Air Force’s Embraer 145 AEW&C aircraft during its flight.

Defence Technology