Saab’s newest GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft has conducted its maiden flight from the company’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.

The modified Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft flew for one hour 46 minutes after completing a series of ground trials, including high and low-speed taxiing tests.

Saab experimental test pilot Magnus Fredriksson said: “Today’s flight went as planned, with the performance level matching our high expectations.”

During the test, the GlobalEye jet used its on-board instrumentation suite to gather extensive flight-test data, which will be used to verify the aircraft performance and associated modelling.

Combining air, maritime and ground surveillance in one swing-role solution, the AEW&C aircraft is equipped with an entire range of sensors, including the newly extended range radar Erieye ER.

Saab’s GlobalEye features extended detection range, endurance and the capability to carry out several missions such as search-and-rescue, border surveillance, and military operations.

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces serves as the launch customer of the aircraft, which is known as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) in the country.

“We are on track with our production of the world’s most advanced swing-role surveillance system.”

While the initial order was placed in November 2015, the GlobalEye jet was first unveiled by the company on 23 February.

Saab Surveillance Business Area senior vice-president and head Anders Carp said: “The first flight is the second major milestone for the GlobalEye programme within a very short space of time.

“Yet again we have demonstrated that we are delivering on our commitments and that we are on track with our production of the world’s most advanced swing-role surveillance system.”

In February 2016, Saab extended its AEW&C portfolio with the launch of the GlobalEye multi-role airborne surveillance system.