Saab Delivers Second GlobalEye

Saab GlobalEye

SHAH ALAM: Saab today announced that it had delivered the second GlobalEye Swing Role Surveillance System to the United Arab Emirates. This follows Saab’s delivery of the first GlobalEye aircraft in April 2020 to the United Arab Emirates, which has ordered three GlobalEye aircraft. The initial contract was signed in late 2015.

“Completing the second GlobalEye delivery in five months is a testament to Saab’s in-house expertise as aircraft manufacturer, sensor provider and large system integrator. I am proud to contribute to the United Arab Emirates’ airborne surveillance capability with GlobalEye, which is the most advanced solution of its kind”, says Micael Johansson, President and CEO of Saab.

Saab GlobalEye

GlobalEye is Saab’s new airborne early warning and control solution. It provides air, maritime and ground surveillance in a single solution. GlobalEye combines Saab’s new Erieye Extended Range Radar and a range of additional advanced sensors with the ultra-long range Global 6000 aircraft from Bombardier.

Saab GlobalEye

What does it got to do with Malaysia then? Nothing actually though it must be said that RMAF has long sought an AEW aircraft. The current plan is to buy the AEW aircraft in the future RMK – likely the 14th – from 2031 to 2036.

Saab Globaleye.

The GlobalEye according to Saab is multi domain aircraft, with its mix of modern active and passive sensors, it provides long-range detection and identification of objects in air, at sea and over land.

Saab GlobalEye AEW platform. This is the second aircraft undergoing its flight test. Saab

It must be noted that UAE has contracted for five GlobalEye aircraft, two in 2015, one in 2017 and another two in 2019. The cost of the contract is estimated around $2.5 billion.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. If the RMAF wanted for 1 or 2 sqns of JAS39E/F Gripen + 1or 2 unit Global Eye with good offer from Saab and Swedish gov why not our gov accept it but must implement with action but if talk with imagine only no point..

  2. Okay.

    So you changed the detail of your write, from RMK13 previously to RMK14. So i deduce that is your presumption.

    IMO we should plan to get the AWACs system by RMK13 2026-2030, not RMK14 2031-2035.


    We need all the budget we have to get the 5th Gen MRCA in 2031-2040 timeframe. Putting the AWACs requirement there will cause either the MRCA to be pushed past 2036 (which by then quite a few regional countries already using 5th gen fighters for 10 or more years), or the numbers compromised.

    Anyway on the Erieye ER. Swedish air force is also looking at a replacement of their current two SAAB 340 AEW.

    We can propose to do a joint procurement with SwAF. Getting a “globaleye lite”, a Global 6000 airframe fitted with just the Erieye ER system.

    An investment of around USD600 million could get us 3 of the ERIEYE ER on a Global 6000. This is based on the price of the ERIEYE ER on the Saab 2000, the cost of the Global 6000 aircraft (used) and development and ISS costs.

    Actually the cost of a single Saab 2000 erieye would be somewhere around USD50-60 million. The contract that was written by marhalim was probably for 3 units, similar to Pakistan order for 3 additional Saab 2000 erieye in 2017.
    these additional order in 2020 should also be for Pakistan, to increase its fleet from 6 to 9. So Pakistan has bought

    4 Saab 2000 erieye in 1st batch 2006. 3 damaged by terrorist attack. 1 total lost and 2 repaired back to service.

    3 Saab 2000 erieye in 2nd batch 2017. costs USD153 million. all delivered by 2020

    3 Saab 2000 erieye in 3rd batch 2020. costs USD160 million. To be delivered from 2020-2023.

    A picture of the 1st of the 3rd batch being delivered to pakistan air force, in may 2020. Its the 8th overall, but as 1 is destroyed, basically the 7th operational one in PAF fleet.

  3. @ Fadiman

    You don’t need to buy Gripens to get the Erieye. Majority of Erieye users dont fly Gripens (Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Mexico).

  4. So either pay USD$500mil each for a GlobalEye or beg Uncle Sam for EDA E-2C Hawkeyes, hopefully for free.

  5. Globaleye…awacs/sea detection n land detection…….do we need this beast..? Yes if we have the money…No because right now what we need for the airforce is pure AWACS.
    Let navy or mmea do rhe MPA job….and let the ground radar scoure the land and air.
    In this case maybe we can afford AWACS without straying with additional bells and whistle that just might increase the whole platform….

  6. Hawkeye with outdated radars?

    There are reasons why most old Hawkeye users are retiring them (usa, japan, singapore, israel, mexico, france).

  7. If there is no money, there are plenty of Hawkeyes parked in the Arizona desert.

    Good idea,but on the other hand,will the cost of reburbishment n upgrades to these planes is equvalent to buying new.I would prefer TUDM learning the curves on know how these beast operates before going to more hi end products…..RSAF did the same,after learnibg the curves of know how of their earlier buy of AWACS then only they invest into something more intricate beast.

  8. @…
    The C version is the current ones in use by non-USN, and it isn’t that outdated considering D version had only debuted in 2014, and the Cs still has direct upgrade path up to D in future. Considering USN will still use them in the foreseeable future, there could yet be further upgrades for them. Atm there’s even a refueling probe upgrade available to Cs for USD$6mil each.

    Interestingly, if we have the money, a USN-specced E-2D Adv Hawkeye is a mere USD$145mil, far cheaper than GlobalEye (USD$500mil).

    No way the cost of refurb will be near equivalent to buying new and most C version were took offline in the recent past 5 years when Ds came in. If we take these recently retired units, things that need refurb will be minimal. RSAF did not have dedicated AWACS before getting Hawkeyes but they got them much much earlier so they built up their decades of operational knowledge.

  9. @ joe

    There is no upgrade path from C to D version. The D version has a totally different radar and avionics to support the radar.

  10. off topic

    Today again i saw the Vera-E system on the move on our national highway. A sign that the system is still operational and in use.

  11. @…
    To get from C to D have to gut out the electronics & upgrade the engines but otherwise pretty much the same airframe. Still, the current config of C version is sufficient for our needs and if we could get them free, it would save us budget to get a better system in future.

    Purely on plane alone, Japan order for an E-2D costed USD$163mil plane alone. With support systems it goes to USD$372mil each. Still far cheaper than a GlobalEye.

  12. @ joe

    The airframe is probably only 20% of the total hawkeye cost.

    If USA themselves does not rebuild the E-2C into the E-2D you will immediately know it is not feasible cost wise. Why other users such as japan and france are also buying new E-2D instead of upgrading their existing E-2C.

    Those Japan and French support costs is for an existing Hawkeye user. For a totally new user the costs will be much higher.

    Even if it is far cheaper than globaleye, it is still something we cannot afford. What is wrong with the standard Erieye ER system anyway? Pakistan is tripling the size of their fleet, with known costs, as it is already a proven in their use against indian air force during the Balokot conflict.

  13. @…
    Nothing wrong but it feels like we would be getting half a system and we’d still have to pay for them, unlike if we ask Uncle Sam nicely for some used Hawkeyes.

  14. @ joe

    What do you mean half a system?

    Do you even understand how a globaleye, compared to how the hawkeye and erieye works??

    Why do i always need to school you in my debates with you??

    Globaleye is AEW and MPA system rolled in one, with both Saab Erieye ER radar on top of the airframe and Leonardo Seaspray AESA radar below the airframe with all the integration needed to control both radars at the same time.

    Hawkeye has nothing as such. So hawkeye is also half a system if following your logic.

    You dont need half a billion dollars spent on a single Globaleye to get the Leonardo Seaspray AESA radar in a dedicated MPA. The same amount of money can get us a dozen dedicated MPAs equipped with those exact same Seaspray AESA radars.

    You dont need to follow all the camel drivers logic, as they have more money to throw at compared to us. They might have a valid need for a AWACS+MPA system rolled into one as they have smaller maritime area than us. We for one dont have the money to do the same, and we need our MPAs at many more areas than UAE does.

  15. @ joe

    Getting used E-2C isnt going to give us the best capability.

    It does not have AESA radar like the Erieye ER and E-2D.

    There will be no more upgrade support for it as its main users have moved to E-2D with a totally different radar system. Most E-2C users will phase out their aircraft by the end of the decade.

    Its airframe maintenance is tied to northrop grumman, unlike commercially availabe Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft. Malaysia also has the experience in operating them as the Bombardier Global 6000 is basically a newer version on the Bombardier Global Express already used for many years by TUDM.

  16. @…
    The E-2D radar has some maritime/ground surveillance function, but its not a dedicated MPA, that was another plane.

    Again, if we have no money, the E-2C is available. Okay granted, it cannot upgrade to D but there are still upgrades coming for it. Its not yet outdated as you put it. We don’t have to get everything to the latest high tech gadgets as we can’t afford it. If used stuff is sufficient for our usage, let’s go for it.

  17. @ joe

    ” The E-2D radar has some maritime/ground surveillance function, but its not a dedicated MPA, that was another plane ”


    You said erieye is half of globaleye. E-2D is also half of globalye as it has same function as Erieye ER .

    Used stuff is good if it can perform the exact same function as a brand new one, and can be supportable through its intended useful life. E-3C isnt going to be that.

    Anyway so why do you want brand new blackhawks instead of used ones exactly?

  18. @joe
    “Okay granted, it cannot upgrade to D but there are still upgrades coming for it.”

    Sometimes these upgrades are designed for existing users to squeeze a few years out of the systems while sunsetting the program. It may not always be suitable for new users. E.g. Maybe new users will incur additional costs that existing users don’t, or the time to transition to the new system is not worth it compared to the additional years of useful life given. E.g. say the upgrade is rolled out in 2020 to extend useful life to 2025, even if we buy now, if it takes us 3 years to receive the equipment and 2 years to fully get up to speed, the net useful life is 0… just a notional example.

    I sympathise with the need to save money but it’s proven history that if we are out of sync with the main user, the additional costs incurred are significant. We aren’t the only ones facing the problem, it’s a big factor for smaller NATO users too.

  19. The E-2C dates from the 1980s. Several export customers got theirs in the late 80s, including our neighbour who has since replaced them. Earlier on they gave it a modest update that is probably no longer available.

    Not only are the electronics very old by now, the radar has much less look down performance over land. There is an upgrade path to E-2D but as you can imagine, it involves replacing the cockpit and all the mission equipment. As such it won’t be cheap.

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