Saab rolls out the first GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft to the media at its Linköping site, Sweden, Feb. 23. GlobalEye is an advanced, swing role airborne surveillance system based on a Global 6000 jet aircraft from Bombardier, which has undergone a thorough modification programme to adapt it for its role.

Saab unveils Globaleye airborne aircraft
Saab unveils the first GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft.

Saab is currently producing the GlobalEye AEW&C, combining air, maritime and ground surveillance in one single solution. GlobalEye combines a full suite of sophisticated sensors including the powerful new extended range radar (Erieye ER), with the ultra-long range Global 6000 jet aircraft.

This first aircraft is equipped and being prepared for ground and flight trials to gather aerodynamic data as part of the ongoing development and production programme.

The development and production contract was awarded at the Dubai Air Show November 2015 by the United Arab Emirates with an initial order for two systems. An additional order by the UAE for a third system was announced in 2017. The GlobalEye solution brings extended detection range, endurance and the ability to perform multiple roles with one solution, including tasks such as search & rescue, border surveillance and military operations.

The GlobalEye will be equipped with the Leonardo's ’Seaspray’ radar. It will allow the aircraft to conduct surveillance using a variety of advanced modes, enhancing the platform’s ability to detect targets.

Seaspray is an AESA radar (standing for Active Electronically Scanned Array, also known as ‘E-Scan’), which means that instead of the radar physically pointing its antenna at a target, a matrix of miniature radar modules are used to steer the beam electronically. The radar can also perform multiple tasks simultaneously, for example carrying out maritime surveillance while at the same time monitoring the weather on the aircraft’s flight path.

Source: Saab, Leonardo
Image: Saab

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