SHAH ALAM: Saab on July 25 announced that it has received an order for two Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning aircraft from Poland. The order value is SEK600 million or US$58 million or RM264 million. The contract period is from 2023 to 2025.
The release from Saab:
Saab has received an order from Poland’s Ministry of National Defence for two Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft. The order value is approximately SEK 600 million and the contract period is 2023-2025.
These early warning systems comprise the Saab 340 aircraft equipped with Saab’s advanced Erieye radar. The contract also includes ground equipment as well as in-country logistics and support services.
“Saab has had a strong relationship with the Polish Ministry of National Defence for many years. We are proud to further strengthen Poland’s Armed Forces with our airborne early warning and network-based solutions,” says Carl-Johan Bergholm, head of Saab’s business area Surveillance.
Saab 340 AEW, together with associated ground equipment, provides a detailed situational picture that can be used for military and civilian tasks including air surveillance and rescue operations.
Different configurations of Saab’s Erieye AEW/AEW&C system have been sold to nine countries, making it one of the most widely used airborne surveillance systems in the world.
Based on the above order, one can assume if RMAF pushed forward its AEW requirement, we could have two AEW aircraft at a lower price than the two MPA. The only difference is of course that the Saab 340 aircraft will be second hand aircraft as they stopped building it some time back.
It must be noted that under the RMAF CAP 55 plan, the AEW will only be procured after 2030. It is unlikely that the Saab 340 airframes will no longer be available for AEW conversion by that time. That said I stand to be corrected of course.
It is likely that the lower cost of the Saab 340 AEW is due to the airframe being an ex-Swedish or UAE airframes. Both air forces are now converting to the more expensive and newer, Saab GlobalEye AEW.
Saab had offered RMAF with the Gripen C/D and 340 AEW as part of their campaign for the now suspended MRCA programme. Even though it was the cheapest option for the MRCA, the Gripen never get past the initial assessment section of the MRCA programme. As I had reported before, the Dassault Rafale was to be the MRCA for RMAF.
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