Poland close to buying early warning aircraft

Poland buy early warning aircraft
Saab 340 early warning and control aircraft.

Poland may soon buy Swedish-made early warning aircraft to boost airspace surveillance capability, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak tweeted last week.

"I wish to say for the first time publicly that we are advanced in talks to obtain Swedish early warning aircraft. We are conducting detailed negotiations. I hope they will succeed in short time. This way we strengthen resilience of Poland, but also of NATO's eastern flank," said Błaszczak.

While Warsaw was previously supposed to be eyeing the new Saab GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C), which is based on the Bombardier Global 6000/6500 long-range business jet and equipped with modern sensors, the spokesman of the Polish Armament Agency, Lt. Col. Krzysztof Płatek, confirmed on May 25 on social media that his agency "is in talks to acquire 2 Saab 340 AEW&C for the Polish Armed Forces in connection with the offer of the Swedish side, which in the short term will ensure the ability to early detect and warning about air threats."

The Saab 340 AEW&C is a modified version of a prop plane that dates back 40 years. It’s based on a twin-engine turboprop regional airliner and is equipped with a non-movable PS-890 AESA radar made with the Erieye system, which offers lower drag but has a dead zone directly behind and in front of the plane. The system has a 120-degree zone of scan on either side of the airframe. The PS-890 radar is capable of tracking ships, aircraft and missiles up to 300-400 kilometers while at an altitude of 20,000 feet.

However, Lt. Col. Płatek did not close the door to the purchase of more modern aircraft as well.

"We do not exclude the purchase of more technologically advanced early warning aircraft in the future," he added.

Sweden currently has two surplus 340 aircraft which had been purchased from the UAE but have been returned following the purchase of GlobalEye aircraft. According to local sources, Saab could supply Warsaw with that surplus for delivery later this year or next.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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