The Saab 2000 Erieye (Image © Saab AB)

“Swedish-Saudi defence deal cancelled” – No more Saab AEW planes

A large number of Swedish media report on 10 March 2015 that the government in Stockholm is cancelling the 10-year old defence cooperation with Saudi Arabia. Once confirmed by the government – something it is said to do soon – it will definitely mean that there will be no second (or third) SAAB E-2000 (Saab 2000 Erieye) Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft heading towards the Kingdom.

Diplomatic relations between the largest Scandinavian country and the leading Arab nation when it comes to purchasing Western made aircraft reached a freezing point this week, after Saudi Arabia prevented Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström to deliver her planned speech to the League of Arab States. Mrs. Wallström earlier called a series of legal but physically punishments of a Saudi blogger “almost medieval methods”, causing anger in Riyadh.

Grim
A future of the SAAB E-2000 in Royal Saudi Air Force service already looked quite grim, as Airheadsfly.com reported on 20 February of this year.

Apart from the SAAB AEW&C aircraft Swedish arms companies have been selling other stuff as well. The Kingdom showed, however, never serious interest in the SAAB Gripen fighter jet, having chosen a mix of US-made F-15C Eagles plus F-15E Strike Eagles and British-made Eurofighter Typhoons and Tornado IDS jets instead.

T-X
The only possible scenario with Saab aviation technology will flow to Saudi Arabia in the future might be through Boeing. If the American manufacturer manages to get a possible export order for its T-X advanced jet trainer it is developing with SAAB for the US Air Force. But that plane is still so far from reality – and might never leave the drawing board – that any such export deal is still very much speculation alone.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): The Saab 2000 Erieye (Image © Saab AB)

A Royal Saudi Air Force E-3 Sentry taking off (Image © Boeing)
Apart from a single SAAB E-2000, the Royal Saudi Air Force relies on the Boeing E-3 Sentry for its AWACS needs (Image © Boeing)