UAE orders two additional GlobalEyes

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) awarded Saab a follow-on contract, worth US$1.018bn, for the acquisition of two additional GlobalEye multi-domain airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft on January 4.

The delivery of two additional GlobalEye platforms as part of this billion-dollar deal will take place between 2020 and 2025. Work under the contract will be carried out at Saab’s facilities in Gothenburg, Linköping, Arboga, Järfälla and Luleå in Sweden, as well as in Centurion, South Africa. Saab adds that the order was booked during the fourth quarter of 2020 as the UAE officially signed the contract on December 30.

GlobalEye [Saab]
The awarding of this billion-dollar follow-on contract will increase the UAE Air Force and Air Defence's fleet of GlobalEye multi-domain airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft to five. Saab

Micael Johansson, president and CEO of Saab, said: “We are proud that the [UAE] continues to show great trust in Saab and our solutions. It shows that Saab remains on the cutting edge regarding advanced technology. The GlobalEye programme is running according to plan and we have an efficient cooperation with the customer.”

This latest deal follows the awarding of the original contract, worth US$1.27bn, for the delivery of two GlobalEye platforms to the UAE Air Force and Air Defence in 2015. In February 2017, the UAE exercised an option to procure a third example from Saab. Referred to as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) by the UAE, the nation accepted its first GlobalEye on April 29, 2020, followed by the second in September 2020.

GlobalEye [Saab]
The UAE's current GlobalEye aircraft are operated by the air force's Transport Wing from the Abu Dhabi International Airport in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - the capital of the UAE. Saab

Saab’s GlobalEye platform is capable of simultaneously performing air, ground and maritime surveillance operations. It combines a number of advanced sensors with the company’s new Erieye Extended Range (ER) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which have been integrated onto a Bombardier Global 6000 ultra-long-range business jet.

At present, the UAE is the sole operator and only confirmed customer of the platform. However, the Swedish-based manufacturer has included the GlobalEye alongside the Gripen E/F multi-role fighter as part of its offer in Finland’s HX Fighter procurement programme – the winner of which will be announced this year.