Full situational awareness through airborne surveillance

With 90 percent of global trade dependent on sea transport and around two-thirds of the world’s population living in coastal areas, maintaining airborne surveillance has never been more important.

Seventy-one percent of the world is covered by water and it is among the substantial flows of maritime freight and trade where danger lurks. 

Terrorism, organised crime, hijacking, hostage taking, refugee smuggling, narcotics trading, illegal underwater activities and illegal fishing represent many of the myriad of maritime threats to people, world trade and international development.  

The threats are constantly changing and vary between different parts of the world. Piracy is again on the rise in Southeast Asian waters through which one-third of maritime global trade passes. In the West African Gulf of Guinea there are armed attacks against ships, Somalian pirates are taking crews as hostages and demanding huge ransoms. Several of last year's piracy attacks occurred in the South China Sea. Threats of attacks against ships in the Suez Canal entail major disruptions for all world trade.  At the same time, refugee smuggling is increasing over the Mediterranean.

In addition to lives, enormous financial values are at stake and the demands are increasing on securing countries' financial interests and assets. New threats place new demands on maritime security and protection, as well as adaptation of technology, manning and tactics. Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) is key in helping meet the threats.

“Airborne sea or ground surveillance provides the most complete situational awareness for an area and is the most effective way of securing evidence,” says Joakim Mevius, Head of Airborne ISR at Saab.

“Airborne operations have unmatched capabilities in this respect. Discovering, gathering, processing and disseminating information about a suspicious object to a military force provides major information superiority,” adds Joakim. Head of Airborne ISR.

“Regardless of whether air-to-sea or air-to-ground systems are deployed, the goal is to identify disturbances and threats, and to gain control over the area,” concludes Joakim. 

Saab's airborne surveillance systems

Saab's Airborne ISR systems are flexible solutions for air, sea and ground surveillance, MEDEVAC, rescue missions and transport assignments in civilian and military markets and include the Swordfish Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Saab 340 MSA and Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C.