United Arab Emirates Air Force Saab GlobalEye
United Arab Emirates Air Force Saab GlobalEye

Saab Signs Support Agreement for United Arab Emirates Air Force GlobalEye AEW&C

Saab has signed a support agreement with the United Arab Emirates regarding the advanced airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) solution GlobalEye. The agreement is valid between 2020 and 2022, with an order value of 144.9 MUSD. The agreement covers support and maintenance for the GlobalEye multi-role airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) platform. The support and maintenance will be executed locally in the United Arab Emirate. Saab has delivered all of the associated ground segment ahead of delivery of the first aircraft, including a mission-training simulator. UAE air and groundcrew have been training in Sweden on the system for some time.

During November 2015, the United Arab Emirates ordered the system, which it refers to as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS), as part of a US$1.27 billion deal. During February 2017, the UAE exercised an option to procure an additional third GlobalEye in a deal worth US$238 million. According to UAE air force chief Ibrahim Naser Al Alawi, the GlobalEye should be a “strong force multiplier…an early warning radar which is capable also of detecting ballistic missiles, and to cover the whole domain as an air power”. By May 2019, lead elements, including ground control stations, had been delivered to the UAE. The UAE took delivery of its first Globaleye as per schedule on 28 April 2020.

Saab GlobalEye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C)

GlobalEye is a multi-role airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) platform from Swedish defence and security company Saab. GlobalEye consists of a suite of sensors using Saab’s Erieye ER (Extended Range) radar and mission system, installed in the Bombardier Global 6000 long-range business jet.The primary sensor of the GlobalEye is its Erieye ER airborne early warning (AEW) radar; it is mounted atop the twinjet’s fuselage. Saab has cited up to 450 km (216 nm) range for the AEW radar system when flown at an operating altitude of 30,000ft. The GlobalEye is capable of detecting and tracking a combination of airborne and surface targets, the latter on both land and sea, while mission times of up to 11 hours in duration are possible.

In addition to the AEW radar, the GlobalEye is equipped with various additional sensors. These include the Seaspray 7500E maritime surveillance radar, provided by Italian defence conglomerate Leonardo; the Seaspray radar features synthetic-aperture radar and ground-oriented moving target indication modes. The GlobalEye also has an electro-optical/infrared sensor, which is situated underneath the forward fuselage. The baseline AESA and C2 system for air, land and sea surveillance, along with some electronic intelligence functions; a version with additional infrared and sea-search functionality; and one with a dedicated signals intelligence (SIGINT) system.

Saab flew its GlobalEye airborne early warning and control aircraft to the 2019 Dubai Airshow, marking its first visit to exhibition. (Saab)