Saab’s new airborne surveillance system GlobalEye has a range of capabilities that makes it the most advanced system of its kind.

Saab has further developed its airborne surveillance system to include a completely new radar and command and control system all integrated with new aircraft solution. According to Erik Winberg, Senior Director Business Development at Saab, the new system GlobalEye is a response to evolving customer requirements.

“The targets that we need to track on radar have become smaller and smaller,” he says. “We have therefore taken a step forward and developed a new radar system which has completely new capabilities. The threat scenarios around the world are constantly changing, and Saab’s new solution shows that we have a unique capability to predict future threats and develop the technology required to meet them.”

Swing-role capability

The system has an unrivalled swing-role capability, which means that it can perform target surveillance in the air, at sea and on land; all at the same time

“The advantage of being in the air when conducting surveillance over land is that it is easier to see low-flying aircraft,” says Winberg. “If surveillance takes place from the ground, the curve of the earth means that at a distance of 350 km you can’t see something flying below a height of 6 000 m.”

GlobalEye is combined with the Global 6000 aircraft from Bombardier. This results in greatly increased mission range and endurance.

“This aircraft, developed as a business jet, can cope with long flights without refuelling,” Winberg says. “This enables our system to remain in the air for more than 11 hours.”

Cross-functional research

According to Winberg, the new system is a good example of how Saab’s focus on research and development makes it possible to develop advanced, complex solutions in which different business units have taken part in an integrated team.

“Our work is based on what is known as spiral development, in which we continuously upgrade our capabilities and constantly take small steps,” he says. “We keep a step ahead of the competitors so that we can constantly meet new demands from customers whilst we are also tried and tested. This approach is unique in our sector.”