The Swedish manufacturer Saab received a follow-up order from the United Arab Emirates for two GlobalEye airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. In 2015, the Gulf monarchy had already ordered three copies. The first was delivered on April 29, 2020.
The GlobalEye was specifically designed for the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF). While manufactured by Saab, it is actually based on the Canadian-made Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jet.
The airframe is a bestseller for surveillance planes, as it was already used by Raytheon to design the Sentinel R Mk-1 battlefield surveillance plane for the British Royal Air Force, and by Northrop-Grumman for the E-11 BACN airborne communications relay of the United States Air Force. It is the first time, however, that it is used to design an AEW&C platform.
Unlike most other aircraft in this category, the GlobalEye carries not a rotodome, but an Erieye active antenna synthetic aperture radar instead. As such, it comes as a direct competitor to the Embraer R-99, operated by Greece, India, and Mexico.
While the GlobalEye was designed at the request of the UAEAF, Saab expects to find other customers, including the Swedish Air Force.