Swedish defence company Saab delivers its fourth GlobalEye aircraft to the UAE while securing an order for Gripen development resources.

Saab has recently achieved milestones in reinforcing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) defence capabilities and the future potential of its Gripen aircraft system. Delivering the fourth GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the UAE marks a feat, highlighting Saab’s ability to provide defence solutions. 

This milestone, achieved within four years, highlights the partnership between Saab and the UAE. The latter is poised to enhance its operational readiness and situational awareness with the GlobalEye system.

In January, Saab strengthened its partnership with the UAE MoD through a $190m support contract, extending its commitment to enhancing the GlobalEye system until 2026. This three-year deal ensures continuous operational effectiveness for the platform, supporting the UAE’s aerial surveillance capabilities by adding two more GlobalEye swing-role surveillance aircraft. 

According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the global military fixed-wing aircraft market, unstable security relations in the Middle East, the ongoing conflict between the UAE and Yemen, and Israel’s rivalry with Iran are anticipated to fuel the demand for these aircraft in the region. 

Simultaneously, Saab secured a Skr540m ($49.7m) order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to support the continued development of the Gripen system. This move ensures that the Gripen is equipped to tackle evolving threats effectively. 

Lars Tossman, head of Saab’s aeronautics business area, emphasised Gripen’s adaptability and continuous upgradeability: “Gripen is designed for continuous upgrades to meet current and future threats.”

“Continued development requires sophisticated simulators and rigs that are easy to operate, cost-effective to maintain, and quick to adapt for new capabilities. This order ensures that Gripen will remain at the forefront for a long time to come.”

The order encompasses a range of activities, including the operation and support of test aircraft, equipment maintenance, and the development of new capabilities for both Gripen C/D and Gripen E variants.

With the delivery of the first series-produced Gripen E aircraft to FMV, preparations for deployment in the Swedish Armed Forces by 2025 are underway. 

With operations from development to integration, Saab maintains complete control over the process. The work will be primarily conducted at its facilities in Linköping, Gothenburg, Järfälla, and Arboga.

The simultaneous advancements in the UAE’s defence capabilities and Gripen’s future potential show Saab’s role in modern warfare.