Saab GlobalEye – a Swedish export success

Saab's GlobalEye program is becoming a Swedish export success. The air surveillance system was first delivered to the United Arab Emirates (VAR), which exercised the option for a third after receiving the first two systems.

It is now expected that Saab will deliver two more systems. While confirmation is still pending, GlobalEye number 4 will be tested at Linköping Airfield before it is handed over to VAR next year. Plane number five with the air surveillance system is also scheduled to take off on a modification flight in the next few weeks, reports Aviation International (Link).

Saab GlobalEye takes off from the airfield in Linköping
Saab GlobalEye takes off from the airfield in Linköping

GlobalEye can become an export success

In the summer, the Swedish Air Force also ordered two GlobalEyes, with the option of two additional systems. Denmark and Norway are also interested and discussions are underway about GlobalEye. France has now sent staff to Sweden to get to know the surveillance system. Korea is also in dialogue as another possible customer. With a modified system that will include local value creation.

There is also speculation that Poland was the recipient of the earlier Erieye machines (Link) the VAR could also switch to the even more powerful GlobalEye system in the future.

Meanwhile, Saab AB is constantly improving the GlobalEye system. Aviation International wants to know that modifications to the aircraft currently being tested in Linköping enable 360° radar coverage. This should be able to be retrofitted to the machines that have already been delivered.

Switching to the Global 6500 is possible

To meet demand, Bombardier's Saab AB has purchased two Global 6000 (Link) and secured an option for an additional pair of machines. One of the acquired machines has already been handed over to the Swedes. She is expected in Linköping at the end of the year. Bombardier is currently still carrying out cabin work on this Global 6000.

For potential new customers, the more developed Global 6500 (Link) have to change. Because Bombardier is phasing out the 6000. Due to the higher load capacity of the Rolls Royce Pearl 15 engines of the 6500, availability would increase compared to the 6000, and adapting the Saab systems to the 6500 is considered problem-free.

With images from Saab AB

5 thoughts on "Saab GlobalEye – a Swedish export success"

  • blank

    ….SAAB is building a factory for RPGs in India, and the activities are diverse. Unfortunately, I think they don't have the time to move into a mass market right now. It would have to be such a special and expensive vehicle that they would get back into it... and then someone would convince them of it.

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      Saab earns good money, I see no motivation to compete in a market that is highly competitive. Even Polestar is wobbling; without Volvo and Geely behind it, the billions in liabilities would be fatal.

  • blank

    Saab's activities are so incredibly diverse, it's a great company. But how do we make it clear to these gentlemen that they should build cars again? Does anyone have any ideas, does anyone see an opportunity?

    • blank

      It's fascinating how successfully Saab operates by occupying a whole variety of small niches...

      The withdrawal from automobile manufacturing was even celebrated with a clip that was shared here. If the clip had come a little later, on the 25th anniversary of the sale, it would finally be symbolic of the group's strategy.

      They have not only withdrawn from vehicle construction, but also, with the exception of one (niche) model, from aircraft construction. It seems to be the niche, or rather, a whole variety of niches cleverly occupied as producers, suppliers, developers or service providers, which are the basis for success, are characteristic of the corporate strategy and have long had their own tradition within Saab AB.

      It seems extremely unlikely to me that this company could get involved in vehicle construction again or even license its good name for it. They even shy away from competition in aircraft construction, operate firefighting aircraft that they have only leased, rely on third-party products for the GlobalEye and look for niches as suppliers in civil aviation, doing well with this strategy and making a profit.

      I don't even expect Saab AB to have its own civilian aircraft in the future. Own cars or even naming rights for them...

      Scania was spun off in 1995, all remaining shares in the automobile division were sold to GM in 2000 and in 2005 the Saab 340 was discontinued without a successor. Concentrating on the niche has been Saab AB's dogma and strategy for more than a quarter of a century and you can clearly feel that companies and PR have developed a certain pride and defiantly placed it in the public space. We should see, accept and remember success. And we should forget about the car division, or that Scania is profitable under another umbrella. We should perceive Saab AB as a company that does everything right at all times...

      The question remains as to how long you can retreat into niches by selling and transferring technology to India or Korea without becoming redundant?

      I wouldn't bet on Saab AB that it will still shine in a quarter of a century without divestitures (it has already sold off its silverware). This can also end very quickly. The niches are only as big and only as long-lasting as the world has long since become small and fast. No niche is safe or permanent. It's a retreat, right?
      And they usually end up with their backs against the wall.

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        And because it's only about niches within the niche - and that mainly takes place in the military sector - I see no reason to celebrate the SAAB AB as a great pike (as it likes to do itself).

        I also see it as a sort of withdrawal - at the latest when Korea and other countries develop and produce similar things, it's over - the former mainstay of vehicle production would already be history at this point and then later SAAB AB would be complete.


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