The first Saab 340 Erieye AEW, Airborne Early Warning, for Thailand completed its maiden flight together with the first Royal Thai Air Force Gripen on November 13.
Image: Thailand's first Saab 340 Erieye AEW, Airborne Early Warning, at its maiden flight together with the first Royal Thai Air Force Gripen in Linköping, Sweden. Photo: Peter Liander.
The Saab 340 Erieye AEW flight took two hours and 14 minutes and was executed by Magnus Fredriksson and Åke Wargh from Saab.
"The flight went as expected and we tested all the basic aircraft systems. We now look forward to continuing the tests in order to then be able to deliver the aircraft to Thailand," says Magnus Fredriksson. A complete aircraft and command and control system
In 2008, Thailand ordered a complete aircraft and command and control system from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) in a Government to Government deal. The order includes six Gripen C/D with associated equipment and service, a Saab 340 AEW equipped with Erieye radar and data links, one Saab 340 aircraft for transport and training plus a command and control system with data links.
During November and in the spring further flights will be realized, interoperability trials will be carried out along with the other elements of the Thailand order.
Saab AEW&C flight trials start By: David Donald November 16, 2009 Aircraft
The Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft with Erieye radar, which is destined for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), took to the skies for the first time on Friday, flying from Saab’s Linkoping plant where airborne early warning and control conversion work is undertaken. Thailand has one AEW&C aircraft on order (plus another option), as part of a deal involving Gripen fighters. The Thai aircraft previously flew with the Swedish air force, but is being overhauled and upgraded prior to delivery, which is expected in about a year. In the interim, RTAF personnel will receive training in Sweden.
Saab is also supplying five Erieye-equipped AEW&C platforms, plus supporting ground systems, to the Pakistani air force. They are based on the larger Saab 2000 aircraft, with provision for five airborne operators. The first aircraft for Pakistan began its final series of system tests last month. Among the aspects being validated is the aircraft’s HES-21 self-protection suite. Later this year the aircraft is to go to Pakistan, where trials will held to determine how the platform performs as part of the wider Pakistani air defense network.
The Saab 2000 AEW&C is one of three platforms competing for a United Arab Emirates air force contract. The turboprop twin offers excellent hot-and-high performance, which was a discriminator in Pakistan and may be a factor here in the UAE. Saab claims that it offers excellent radar performance, including a maritime-search function that can spot vessels down to jet-ski size, and is a very cost-effective option. AIN understands that final submissions have been made to the UAE, and a decision is awaited.