Saab’s first military digital air traffic control tower, r-TWR, has successfully started operating at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen in Germany.

The new r-TWR has also received certification from the German Military Aviation Authority (Luftfahrtamt der Bundeswehr – LufABw).

The new digital tower is capable of operating in all weather conditions and providing various latest air traffic control technologies to the airbase.

Saab ’s r-TWR comprises a set of systems that are operated from a control room at the air base.

It includes sound reproduction, pan-tilt-zoom cameras and high-definition cameras sitting atop the mast to capture a 360° view of the airfield.

Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions CEO Per Ahl said: “This is an important milestone for Saab going operational with the digital air traffic solution within the military domain.

“The digital tower provides a flexible and scalable solution that is proven to be suitable for military airbases, as well as civilian airports of all sizes.”

Geilenkirchen is the main operating base for Nato’s Boeing-developed E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft fleet.

Apart from E-3A, the tower will also support the operations undertaken by different types of fighter aircraft and helicopters.

The digital air traffic solutions supply contract for Nato Air Base Geilenkirchen was awarded to Saab in June 2019, marking the manufacturer’s first military order for an operational digital tower.

According to Saab, Nato required the r-TWR to conduct live operations at the time of refurbishment of the existing control tower.

The r-TWR was originally introduced in 2015 and followed by the establishment of Saab Digital Air Traffic Solutions in 2016.

It is a joint venture between Saab and the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration.