Following the signing of a contract by the Kingdom of Thailand for six fighters, Saab is celebrating the capture of its first Gripen customer in the region. The deal also covers the supply of two Saab 340 twin-turboprop airliners, one configured with the Saab Microwave Systems Erieye radar for airborne early warning. Thailand plans to use the other for training and transport.
After a long-running procurement saga, the Royal Thai Air Force has selected the Saab Gripen to replace its elderly Northrop F-5 fighter fleet. The deal also covers the supply of airborne early warning aircraft to bolster the nation’s air defenses.
The UAE Air Force will make a decision soon regarding its key airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) requirement, AIN understands. The choice follows an extensive analysis of the force’s operational needs and the issue of a highly detailed request for information (RFI) last year.
“The future of our nation depends on airpower. It is essential to our national security,” said Maj. Gen. Khalid Bin Abdullah Mubarak Al Bu-Ainain, commander of the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense (AFAD), at the Defense News Middle East Air Chiefs Conference here in Dubai yesterday. “We are driving toward a netcentric future with a desire for effects-based warfare. We want to produce only the effects that are intended.”
After some years of negotiation, Pakistan has signed a provisional contract with Saab to procure an airborne early warning system. It will be based on the Saab 2000 twin-turboprop airliner carrying a strut-mounted Ericsson Microwave Systems Erieye radar above the aircraft’s spine. The contract is worth SEK 8.3 billion ($1 billion), of which Saab will receive two-thirds and Ericsson Microwave one-third.
On Sunday night a Brazilian air force Embraer EMB-145 ANEW&C landed at the Dubai airshow to make the type’s first appearance outside South America, at the start of Operação Guardião–a demonstration tour that will also take the aircraft to December’s LIMA show in Malaysia. The aircraft flew from Brazil with six stops along the way.
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