Saab’s offer to Finland for its HX Fighter Programme includes two GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft according to a company press release on June 14.
Anders Carp, Senior Vice President and head of Saab’s Business Area Surveillance was quoted as saying: “Our offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence, responding to the requirements of the HX programme. GlobalEye is the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution and combined with Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, it will provide a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces.”
Previously it had been assumed that Saab’s offer in response to Finland’s request for proposals had comprised 64 Gripen aircraft, 52 single-seat Gripen Es and 12 two-seat Gripen Fs as well as technology transfer and other industrial benefits, but the addition of the two AEW&C platforms is a new twist.
No price has been announced for the three GlobalEye aircraft being built for and developed with the United Arab Emirates. It is not known what financial arrangement Saab, backed by the Swedish state, proposes for Finland’s acquisition of two GlobalEyes. It may be the case that the fighters and two GlobalEyes come within the budget Finland is allocating for its HX Fighter Programme. However, the two countries are increasing their already close military relationship. Sweden is looking to replace its two Erieye AEW&C platforms and GlobalEye seems a likely choice. It would make perfect sense for both nations to have two interoperable fleets of fast-jets and AEW&C systems.