Saab has revealed that its Gripen offer for the Finnish fighter procurement competition includes two GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
In January, Saab submitted a bid for Finland’s HX programme, which seeks to find a replacement for the country’s Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet.
The proposal includes 64 Gripen aircraft, in addition to the two GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft. Out of the 64 Gripen aircraft, 52 are single-seat Gripen E, while the remaining 12 are dual-seat Gripen.
Saab senior vice-president and surveillance head Anders Carp said: “Our offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence, responding to the requirements of the HX programme.
“GlobalEye is the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution and combined with Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, it will provide a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces.”
Based on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet, GlobalEye is designed to support air, maritime and ground surveillance, and perform tasks such as search and rescue, border surveillance, and joint military operations.
The aircraft is a strategic asset, which can be deployed for round-the-clock operations. Saab noted that the AEW&C capability offered by GlobalEye can provide enhanced situational awareness and increased pre-warning time to Finland.
In addition to deterrence, AEW&C systems can be used to optimise the combat effectiveness of a fighter fleet.
Saab’s proposal for the HX programme comprises necessary equipment and related services, as well as a weapon and sensor package.
The company also offered to support the establishment of an industrial co-operation programme to build national capabilities in Finland to ensure security of supply.
As part of this co-operation programme, the company offered to provide transfer of maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities to local industry.
The programme will also seek to produce aircraft domestically in Finland and establish a sustainment and development centre.
Finland is expected to make the procurement decision for the HX programme in 2021.