Saab finalised a contract on 27 June 2024, with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the delivery of a third GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft to Sweden. 

This contract, valued at approximately Skr2.6bn ($240m), outlines a delivery period stretching from 2024 to 2029. The new order stems from an option included in Saab’s 2022 contract with FMV, which initially covered two GlobalEye aircraft and included provisions for procuring two additional units. The Swedish designation for these aircraft is S 106.

Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab, expressed pride in contributing to Sweden’s defence capabilities. He highlighted the GlobalEye’s role in providing situational awareness and early detection of potential threats across the air, sea, and land domains. Johansson emphasised that this addition would enhance Sweden’s ability to monitor and respond to its surroundings effectively.

The GlobalEye system is an AEW&C system equipped with a range of active and passive sensors designed for long-range detection and identification. These sensors are designed to enable the GlobalEye to provide real-time information to air forces, armies, and navies, to enhance situational awareness and threat detection. 

The aircraft’s Erieye Extended Range (ER) radar system has an expanded detection range, capable of identifying small and emerging targets over large distances. Designed to operate effectively even in environments with heavy clutter and jamming, this radar system uses Adaptive Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology to focus energy on specific areas or targets of interest.

In maritime surveillance, the GlobalEye can detect sea targets up to the elevated horizon and identify small boats, such as jet-skis, at considerable distances. The combination of Erieye ER and maritime surveillance radar enables the detection of objects as small as periscopes. Additionally, the system includes an automatic identification system (AIS), an electro-optical system (EOS), and inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) for comprehensive object identification.

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For ground surveillance, the GlobalEye utilises long-range wide-area ground moving target indication (GMTI) to detect moving objects. This capability is complemented by weather-independent radar imaging. The aircraft’s mission capability is further enhanced by its ultra-long range, facilitated by the Global 6000/6500 aircraft from Bombardier. These jets provide over 11 hours of operational endurance and state-of-the-art avionics, ensuring optimal working conditions for the crew.

The GlobalEye’s instrumented range exceeds 650 kilometres (350 nautical miles), and its excellent airfield performance, requiring only a 6,500-foot runway, allows it to operate from smaller airports. Additionally, it comes equipped with a full self-protection suite, ensuring operational endurance and crew safety during missions.