Sweden Orders Two S 106 GlobalEyes from Saab

 - June 30, 2022, 5:24 AM
One of the UAE’s GlobalEyes is seen during a pre-delivery test flight. As well as providing Sweden with enhanced air surveillance, the GlobalEye will greatly improve maritime capability. (Photo: Saab)

Sweden’s Försvarets materielverk (FMV, defense materiel administration) has placed an order with Saab for two GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The new contract, based on a procurement process that began back in October 2021, also includes an option to buy up to two further GlobalEyes.

Based on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet airframe, the GlobalEye will be designated S 106 in Försvarsmakten (Swedish Armed Forces) service. The contract, valued at around SEK7.3 billion ($710 million), was signed on June 30, with deliveries of the two aircraft scheduled for 2027.

“GlobalEye will provide Sweden with world-class airborne early warning and control capability,” said Saab president and CEO Micael Johansson. “Saab’s most important mission is to keep people and societies safe, and I am proud that GlobalEye will further strengthen the Swedish Armed Forces’ capability.”

Featuring the Saab Erieye ER radar in a “ski-box” fairing and advanced command and control system, the GlobalEye offers a potent AEW&C capability with a radar range of over 300nm. The aircraft also features other sensors such as multi-role search radar and electro-optic sensors for maritime and overland surveillance. The launch customer was the United Arab Emirates, which has received three GlobalEyes with another pair currently undergoing modification.

In Swedish military service the S 106s will be operated from Linköping-Malmen, from where the air force’s current AEW&C assets operate with F7's 72:a Specialflygdivisionen (special air squadron, also styled as 72nd ASC Squadron). Those assets comprise a pair of Saab S 100Ds—also known as the ASR890—which has an earlier iteration of the Erieye radar mounted on a Saab 340 regional airliner.

The S 100Ds have been used intensively in recent years due to growing tensions with Russia and increasing activity over the Baltic Sea by Russian aircraft. The GlobalEyes will bring significantly increased levels of airframe and system performance. ”The S 106 embodies a considerably strengthened reconnaissance and command capability over air, sea, and land, and also a longer endurance and range compared to today’s capability,” commented Ingela Mathiasson, head of Aviation Equipment at FMV.