First flight of Saab GlobalEye AEW&C aircraft

Illuminated by glorious sunshine over the Baltic Sea, the first Saab GlobalEye aircraft for the United Arab Emirates Air Force made its maiden flight from Linköping on March 14, 2018, cunningly disguised in Saab corporate markings.
Saab Aerospace

Just three weeks after being rolled out of the factory on February 23, Saab’s GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft made its maiden flight on March 14, 2018.

The 1 hour and 46 minute flight was conducted from Saab’s facility at Linköping in southern Sweden, under the command of company experimental test pilot Magnus Frederiksson and followed a series of low speed and high-speed taxi tests.

Magnus Frederiksson said: “Today’s flight went as planned, with the performance level matching our high expectations. The aircraft’s smooth handling was just as predicted and a real pleasure for me to fly.”

During the successful first flight, which departed Linköping at 12:52 local time, the flight test crew collected aerodynamic flight test data, which will be used to verify the GlobalEye’s performance predictions and associated modelling. The aircraft is the first of three for the United Arab Emirates Air Force, the launch customer for the GlobalEye programme.

Saab says that the capability is known as the Swing Role Surveillance System by the UAEAF. The GlobalEye is based on the Bombardier Global 6000 airframe, with a Saab Erieye ER (Extended Range) S-Band active electronically scanned array radar and bellymounted Leonardo Seaspray 7500E X-band surveillance radar.

Anders Carp, senior vice president and head of Saab’s Surveillance Business Area 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.” Nigel Pittaway