Tag Archives: Saab 2000

Swedish aviation icon SAAB turns 80 years, going strong

The Swedish aviation icon SAAB is celebrating its birthday on 2 April. In 1937 the company was founded after a decision by the Swedish parliament to have the country produce its own aircraft. Eighty years later the military aircraft made in Linköping are more popular then ever.

The newest combat aircraft made in Sweden is in service with five nations: Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Thailand. Two more nations will be flying the JAS 39 Gripen soon: Brazil and Slovakia; with Brazilian Embraer will even to produce the new and larger E-version supported by Saab engineers and technology. While the plant in Linköping will manufacture 60 of the Gripen E for its own Flygvapnet.

We at Airheadsfly.com say “Stort grattis på födelsedagen” (Happy birthday) Saab with a photo essay.

© 2017 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): Frontal view of the legendary Saab Draken
(Image © Marcel Burger)

Royal Danish Air Force (Flyvevåbnet) Saab T-17 (MFI-17 Supporter) training aircraft at Fliegerhorst Wittmundhafen (Wittmund AB), Niedersachsen, Germany (Deutschland). The aircraft with serial T-428 serves with the Flight School (Flyveskolen) at Karup. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Royal Danish Air Force (Flyvevåbnet) Saab T-17 (MFI-17 Supporter) training aircraft at Fliegerhorst Wittmundhafen (Wittmund AB), Niedersachsen, Germany (Deutschland). The aircraft with serial T-428 serves with the Flight School (Flyveskolen) at Karup. (Image © Marcel Burger)
We’re on top of a lot of Saab Gripen news lately, but at AIRheads↑FLY we’re sure not to forget the original Saab – at least in our eyes: the Draken. It needs no words. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Saab S 100B Argus AEW&C aircraft of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force), reg. no. 100002, with the Erieye radar (Image © Marcel Burger)
Saab S 100B Argus AEW&C aircraft of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force), reg. no. 100002, with the Erieye radar (Image © Marcel Burger)
A Saab Gripen on patrol. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A Saab Gripen on patrol. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Saab Gripens at Lion Effort 2015 (Image © Martin Král)
Saab Gripens at Lion Effort 2015 (Image © Martin Král)
An Austrian Saab 105 training aircraft in cool tiger livery (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The "office" of a Gripen C pilot (Image © Saab AB)
The “office” of a Gripen C pilot (Image © Saab AB)
A Czech Gripen on alert on Iceland (Image © Tomáš Maruščák)
A Swedish Air Force SAAB SK 60 after landing (Image © Marcel Burger)
A Swedish Air Force SAAB SK 60 after landing (Image © Marcel Burger)
The end is near for the Saab 2000 in Braathens service. Seen here landing at Stockholm-Arlanda in March 2015 (Image © Marcel Burger)
The end is near for the Saab 2000 in Braathens service. Seen here landing at Stockholm-Arlanda in March 2015 (Image © Marcel Burger)
Saab 91D Safir in the historic livery of the Rijksluchtvaartschool Holland. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Saab 91D Safir in the historic livery of the Rijksluchtvaartschool Holland. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Sweden is famous for its candy. Here's some eye candy in the shape of a Saab Sk37E Viggen. Nothing sweet about that, however. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Sweden is famous for its candy. Here’s some eye candy in the shape of a Saab Sk37E Viggen. Nothing sweet about that, however. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A restored Viggen flying from Linköping (Image © Elmer van Hest)
20140220_CASLAV_JAS39C_9238_FRONT-1024x682
Saab Gripen: a work of art and a Czech prize fighter. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Roll-out of the new, more capable Gripen E in May 2016 (Image © Saab)
Roll-out of the new, more capable Gripen E in May 2016 (Image © Saab)
Saab coops with Boeing on the possible future T-X advanced trainer for the US Air Force. It may even replace the SAAB SK60 of the Swedish Air Force (Image © Boeing)
Saab coops with Boeing on the possible future T-X advanced trainer for the US Air Force. It may even replace the SAAB SK60 of the Swedish Air Force (Image © Boeing)
Take-off! (Image © Louise Levin / Försvarsmakten)
Take-off! (Image © Louise Levin / Försvarsmakten)
One of the two US Air Force B-52s in formation with Swedish Air Force SAAB JAS 39 Gripen jets passing by the USS San Antonio off the coast of Southern Sweden on 13 June 2015 (Image © US Navy)
One of the two US Air Force B-52s in formation with Swedish Air Force SAAB JAS 39 Gripen jets passing by the USS San Antonio off the coast of Southern Sweden on 13 June 2015 (Image © US Navy)
For a long time Saab's first jet aircraft was the only Swedish made combat jet ever to have been deployed during war, when it was supporting the UN forces in Congo in the 1960s. The current Gripen has seen action over Libya. (Image © Marcel Burger)
For a long time Saab’s first jet aircraft was the only Swedish made combat jet ever to have been deployed during war, when it was supporting the UN forces in Congo in the 1960s. The current Gripen has seen action over Libya. (Image © Marcel Burger)
A SAAB J32B Lansen taking off from Linköping Malmen. (Image © Marcel Burger)
A SAAB J32B Lansen taking off from Linköping Malmen. (Image © Marcel Burger)
A very cool frontal view of a Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C showing off its missile defense suite (Image © Peter Liander / Saab AB)
A very cool frontal view of a Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C showing off its missile defense suite (Image © Peter Liander / Saab AB)

Future for Saab Saudi deal looks grim

There seems to be a lonely future ahead for the Royal Saudi Air Force E-2000 (Saab 2000 Erieye) Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft. A possible future purchase of a second or third aircraft – as well as any other Swedish made weapon like the popular Carl Gustav man-portable anti-tank missile system – looks very much in doubt. More and more Swedish member of parliament are swinging towards a total weapon sales ban on the Kingdom, even those who support current prime minister Stefan Löfven.

The RSAF revealed its E-2000 last December and images quickly found their way to cyberspace, even though both Saab and the Royal Saudi Air Force tried to keep the commissioning of the aircraft low-profile. Saab even hadn’t named Riyadh as the receiver of one of its Saab 2000s with the Ericsson-designed Erieye radar. “Upon customer’s request, no further information regarding the customer will be announced,” a Saab statement read that did confirming the price of 670 million dollars.

Saudi sources say a special squadron (60 Squadron is mentioned) now flies the E-2000 out of Prince Sultan Air Base / Al Kharj, home as well for the RSAF’s 18 Squadron with its five Boeing E-3 Sentry aircraft. These AWACS’s are are destined to undergo a lengthy upgrade program the coming years.

The parliament in Stockholm is currently a bit sensitive about what it sees as a lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia. Therefore a growing number of MP’s wants to ban sales of military hard- and software to the Kingdom altogether. Swedish-Saudi defence co-operation was renewed by the former centre-right government that lost the elections in September 2014.

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

Big trouble for Flight Airlines

One of the AN-124s leased by on final approach to Moscow Sheremetyevo airport (Image © Sergey Kustov)
One of the AN-124s leased by on final approach to Moscow Sheremetyevo airport (Image © Sergey Kustov)

Flight Airlines – known as Polet to many – is in big trouble. One of its large Antonov AN-124 airlifters was seized on RAF Brize Norton this week. Flight’s owner Russian entrepreneur Alexander Lebedev apparently hasn’t payed the bills for the lease of the aircraft since he began operations in May 2013, according to Russian press agengy Interfax.

A second AN-124 Ruslan suffered a similar faith on Moscow Zhukovsky. The actions in Britain and Russia were taken after a Moscow court ruled the aircraft to be grounded until the lease company and Lebedev would have settled their differences.

As far as we know Flight operates another two AN-124s, two AN-148, three IL-96s, five SAAB 2000s and five SAAB 340s. The whereabouts of those aircraft are not known to us at this time.

Source: Interfax / Flight (Polet)

Related posts

Special Report: Big plans for military Saab turboprops

The Saab 340 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft with registration SE-MCG during trail flights (Image © SAAB)
The Saab 340 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft with registration SE-MCG during trail flights (Image © Saab AB)

Swedish inventions go a lot further than just the bits and pieces that come in your regular Ikea furniture package. It is part of the Swedish psyche to re-invent to re-earn money. Take the out-of-production Saab 340 and newer Saab 2000 passenger aircraft. Produced a long time ago, but fairly hot again in a world that might only just be warming up to the type.

The Swedish aircraft manufacturer is actually looking to get its hands on its own aircraft, despite the fact the last turboprop left the Linköping production plant in 1999. The big plan: get them, move ownership and let the new owner pay for that, get him to pay even more money to pimp the planes and get them out in the wild to make name and fame to sell even more.

Blazing
Now don’t expect the Saabs going in guns blazing, rockets firing and bombs away. But the 340s and 2000s will make excellent surveillance, patrol and anti-piracy platforms for any naval air arm that is short on cash but big in responsibility. A maritime surveillance (MSA) or patrol (MPA) Saab competes easily with the popular CN235 and C295 developed by Spanish CASA/EADS and will be more cost-efficient than yet powered Gulfstreams and Embraers.

That’s why Saab has been working on its Saab 340 MSA the last couple of years. The potential market could be anywhere from 15 to 400 aircraft, depending on how many of the 63 Saab 2000s and 459 Saab 340s produced could be transferred from their current owners to a military force. For about a 120 Saab 340s and 2000s the task is fairly simple, since they are managed by Saab Aircraft Leasing.

The Saab 2000 Swordfish MPA with registration SE-LRA at the 2012 Swedish Military Airshow at Linköping-Malmslätt (Image © Marcel Burger)
The Saab 2000 Swordfish MPA with registration SE-LRA at the 2012 Swedish Military Airshow at Linköping-Malmslätt (Image © Marcel Burger)

A second hand Saab turboprop with at least 40,000 hours of air time on the structural airframe left, updated with the newest software and mission gear is not a dumb investment. The Saab 340s can stay on top of things for 7 hours, the Saab 2000s have an on-station time up till about 9 hours.

Erieye
The Saabs do have some positive reputation to keep. Both the Swedish, Thai and Pakistan air forces fly an airborne radar and control Saab turboprop, with the boom-like Erieye antenna developed by Swedish IT giant Ericsson (Saab Electronic Defence Systems) literally on its back.

The Flygvapnet ordered four fully equipped Saab 340 AEW&C and another two for transport duties to be fitted with a radar boom during war time. They were designated S 100B Argus, with subtype FSR (Flygspaningsradar) for the radar equipped version and TP for the transport twins.

Saab S 100B Argus AEW&C aircraft of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force), reg. no. 100002, with the Erieye radar (Image © Marcel Burger)
An original Saab S 100B Argus AEW&C aircraft of the Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) with the Erieye radar (Image © Marcel Burger)

Greek Saabs
Of the four fully equipped versions, two were further developed into the S 100D Helas in a bid to please the Hellenic Air Force. The Greeks choose the Erieye, but onto an Embraer EMB-145.

The ‘Greek’ Saabs subsequently became operational with the Swedish Defence Materiel Command (Försvarets Materielverk; FMV) in 2009 and 2010. The Swedes updated the radar to ASC890 standard (Airborne Surveillance and Control) and even named the aircraft Saab ASC890. These most modern Swedish version also got a Link 16 data share system, a new IFF system and Secure Voice plus other sensor systems and software according to NATO standards. The 72. Ledningsflygdivisionen (72 Airborne Control Division) flies the ASC890s out of Såtenäs Airbase, although they are regularly spotted at Linköping-Malmen Airbase.

Of the four older Swedish Air Force S 100B Argus, two were sold to the Royal Thai Air Force, delivered in 2011 and 2012 to serve besides the Saab JAS 39 Gripen multi-role fighters of the RTAF. The remaining two (ex-)SweAF S 100Bs are to be delivered to the United Arab Emirates Air Force as the Saab 340/Erieye AEW&C. That’s right, with the Erieye.

A very cool frontal view of a Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C showing off its missile defense suite (Image © Peter Liander / Saab AB)
A very cool frontal view of a Saab 2000 Erieye AEW&C showing off its missile defense suite (Image © Peter Liander / Saab AB)

Pakistani Saab 2000 destroyed
The Pakistani Air Force received four Saab 2000 AEW&C (Erieye) aircraft, plus a ‘bare’ Saab 2000 for training. The PAKAF ran in some trouble in August this year, when the Taliban attacked Minhas Airbase in Pakistan, destroying one Saab 2000 AEW&C and severely damaging another two. According to several sources the damaged aircraft need to be repaired for millions to bring the aircraft back to operational status.

Saab SAR and transport
The Japan Coast Guard flies four Saab 340B as SAR-200, especially configured for search and rescue tasks with a 360 degree scanning radar, a FLIR, wide observer windows, rescue equipment like drop systems for self-inflatable lifeboats, special operator and communications systems plus the possibility to carry either passengers or cargo in the rear. Four Saab 340s serve as dedicated transport aircraft within the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina).

One of three Saab TP 100s (Saab 340) of the Flygvapnet. The Swedish Air Force operates one TP 100A and two TP 100C. The TP 100A is based at Linköping-Malmen/Malmslätt and is especially modified for Open Skies verification flights. The TP 100C mostly transport personnel and small cargo loads within Sweden and are based at Luleå-Kallax and Ronneby in Blekinge. (Image © Marcel Burger)
One of three Saab TP 100s (Saab 340) of the Flygvapnet. The Swedish Air Force operates one TP 100A and two TP 100C. The TP 100A is based at Linköping-Malmen/Malmslätt and is especially modified for Open Skies verification flights. The TP 100C mostly transport personnel and small cargo loads within Sweden and are based at Luleå-Kallax and Ronneby in Blekinge. (Image © Marcel Burger)

Meanwhile Saab is showcasing its 340/2000 platforms whenever it can. At the 2013 Dubai Airshow the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft was a coming star, with official certification of the type pending before new year’s celebrations. The ASC890s have been flying around the international theatre of the Nordic countries and highlighted themselves somewhat during Arctic Challenge Exercise 2013 (ACE13).

© 2013 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger

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