Saab Gripen E, GlobalEye Complete Finnish HX Flight Evaluation

Saab has successfully completed its participation in the Finnish Air Force HX Challenge with its Gripen E fighter aircraft and GlobalEye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

The flight evaluation, conducted at Pirkkala Air Base in Finland, is part of the capability assessment in the on-going HX programme, the procurement of new fighter aircraft to equip the Finnish Air Force. The HX Challenge was carried out in Finland with tests performed under Finnish winter conditions, with the purpose to verify the data previously reported by the fighter manufacturers.

“During the past week we have successfully completed the planned tests, and hence demonstrated the capabilities of Gripen and GlobalEye, a solid and highly capable solution responding to the needs of the Finnish Air Force”, says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

On Jan. 31, Saab submitted a revised offer in response to the revised Request for Quotation (RFQ) for the Finnish HX programme.

Saab’s offer to Finland is a comprehensive solution for air power and air defence. With Gripen E/F fighter aircraft, designed for the most challenging operations and threat scenarios very similar to those in Finland, combined with GlobalEye – one of the world’s most advanced AEW&C solution – as a force multiplier, the offer provides a substantial contribution to the joint operational capability of the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF).

As part of its proposal, Saab is offering a substantial weapon and sensor package, as well as the necessary equipment and associated services needed to operate the system. The offer also includes an industrial co-operation programme aiming to build extensive national capabilities for the Security of Supply in Finland. Transfer of maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities to local industry, parts production and final assembly of aircraft as well as an establishment of a sustainment and development centre in Finland are included.

According to the current schedule, a procurement decision on the HX programme is anticipated in 2021.

Saab Gripen E

The Saab Gripen E (Gripen JAS 39E) is the latest variant of the JAS 39 Gripen single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. JAS 39F is the two-seat version of the aircraft.

The main modifications include the adoption of a new powerplant (General Electric F414G in place of Volvo RM12), an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, and significantly increased internal fuel capacity.

Sweden and Brazil have ordered the Gripen E/F aircraft. Brazil’s designation for JAS 39E variant is F-39E and for the JAS 39F variant, it is F-39F.

The first serial produced Swedish Air Force Gripen E (designated 6002) fighter aircraft has recently completed its maiden flight. The new Brazilian Gripen E completed its maiden flight on August 26 last year.

Saab GlobalEye

Saab GlobalEye is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Saab. GlobalEye combines a new Saab Erieye Extended Range (Erieye ER) radar with Bombardier’s Global 6000 ultra-long-range jet aircraft.

GlobalEye’s Erieye ER is an S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) multi-mode radar developed from the Saab Erieye radar. The radar system has the ability to detect low-observable air targets in heavy clutter and jamming conditions and also can detect and track maritime targets out to the elevated horizon and small jet-ski or RIB sized vessels at very long distances.

The aircraft was unveiled by Saab in February 2018 and the maiden flight was conducted next month.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force (UAEAF) has ordered three GlobalEye systems, which it refers to as the Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS).

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