France to reportedly acquire Saab GlobalEye surveillance aircraft

Saab

The French Ministry of Armed Forces is reportedly poised to conclude the acquisition of a GlobalEye surveillance aircraft from the Swedish manufacturer Saab. 

The information was first reported by the French publication Intelligence Online, which stated that negotiations surrounding the acquisition were about to conclude 

The GlobalEye, based on the Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jet, features the Erieye active electronically scanned array radar. This radar can detect and track targets over a range of more than 550 kilometers (341 miles) and can perform early warning and control operations across air, sea, and land domains. 

The new aircraft will reportedly replace the aging fleet of E-3F Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft, which have been in service with the French Air Force since 1991 and are stationed at Avord Air Base 702. The E-3F Sentry, an essential asset for detection, control, deterrence, protection, intervention, and command, has a detection range of 400 kilometers and can remain airborne for up to 12 hours. 

While Saab’s GlobalEye was also a contender for replacing NATO’s AWACS fleet, the alliance ultimately opted for the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail on November 15, 2023, as its next-generation command and control aircraft. 

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