This year’s RAF Waddington International Airshow is already looking to be the biggest for a number of years with over 20 nations participating and 76 foreign aircraft flying into the Lincolnshire airbase for the flying and static display. With just over 2 weeks to go the airshow team are happy to confirm the 77th aircraft in the form of the illusive SAAB 340 ERIEYE AEW&C, from the Swedish Air Force.
More commonly known as the Erieye, due to its radar system, a total of 22 ERIEYE systems have been made by the Saab Group on different platforms, some of which serve with the Swedish Air Force on Saab 340’s. There are 7 other international Saab ERIEYE customers flying Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, similar to RAF Waddington’s own E3D Sentry. The aircraft with a crew of 5 can stay airborne for several hours, monitoring airspace and movements across huge expanses of the globe. The Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft was first introduced in 1997 and was based on the successful SAAB 340 regional airliner.
The Saab 340 AEW&C, sometimes called ‘Argus’, will make a welcome return to the airshow which is held over the 30th June and 1st July 2012, where it will join its contemporaries from the RAF (Sentry AEW Mk1), the Boeing Wedgetail from Australia and the Royal Navy’s venerable Sea Kings ASACS. The airshow team hope that the presence of such a mixed range of Airborne Early Warning aircraft will give the public an interesting insight into the intriguing world of Combat ISTAR. The SAAB 2000 and Argus will combine with the Austrian Air Force SAAB 105 and Czech Air Force SAAB JAS 39 Gripen to make for a unique SAAB Group presence at the RAF Waddington International Air Show.