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  • Middle Eastern Erieyes
    Posted by Christina Mackenzie 7:39 AM on Nov 15, 2011

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    Parked quietly a little behind some of the bigger planes at the Dubai air show is a Saab 2000 aircraft with an Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) radar atop. Only the grey-on-grey fin flash reveals that it belongs to the Pakistan air force, which is showing it for the first time.

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    Saab will not reveal how many of the aircraft were ordered in the SEK 7bn ($1.04bn) Oct. 18, 2005, contract, but five seems like an educated guess, given the number on the fin: 10025. The first aircraft was delivered in 2010.

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have also bought two of the Swedish company's Erieye systems but on a refurbished Saab 340 platform like the one used by Sweden and Thailand. That came as a surprise order at the last Dubai show, and according to Sten Soderstrom, Saab's vice president for sales and marketing, the UAE are looking to buy more; but no announcement has yet been forthcoming. Sweden's ambassador to the UAE, Magnus Scholdtz, said earlier this year that “we've offered to sell [them] four more such aircraft. . . .”

    There is a third Erieye customer in the Middle East, although not identified by Saab, and it is believed to be Saudi Arabia. The SEK4.5bn ($670m) contract points to more than one aircraft but fewer than five being purchased in a deal briefly announced by Saab in October 2010.

    Photo credits: Christina Mackenzie

    Tags: ar99, dubai11, Pakistan, UAE, SaudiArabia, Saab

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