Invited by Saab AB Indonesian media visited a number of cities in Sweden to see what the Swedish defense giant could offer, especially in terms of modernizing the Indonesian Air Force as well as other related defense capabilities.
Saab in Gothenburg introduced its Erieye airborne early warning (AEW) system and radar manufacturing facilities. The Erieye AEW is based on active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, which boasts a multi-tasking capability.
Saab Vice President and Airborne Surveillance Systems Head Lars Tossman said that the Erieye AEW system would be a good fit for Indonesia’s geography as it could cover more area than the conventional systems.
Tossman disclosed that Saab is in discussion with the Indonesian government regarding this.
For daily operations, the system requires two aircraft equipped with Erieye radars to cover 80 percent of Indonesia’s territory. The Erieye AEW system has been certified to be placed on two platforms: Sweden’s own Saab 2000 turboprop airliner and the Brazilian Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet.
Tossman said to encourage other countries to acquire the system, it was also possible to install it on other platforms, but requiring Saab certification.
Meanwhile, Lars Ekstrom of Saab’s airborne surveillance system, highlighted that the Erieye AEW could also be deployed to monitor illegal fishing activities across the 17,000-island archipelago.
Currently in the region, the Royal Thai Air Force is already operating the Erieye AEW system mounted on Saab 2000 aircraft. The system was acquired as a package with Thailand’s acquisition of Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen light, single-engine, multi-role jet fighters.
The Swedish visitors also went to Satenas Air Base, which is dedicated to the training of all Gripen pilots from inside and outside Sweden. All pilots participate in Swedish fighter pilot training over 36 months.
The Swedish Air Force is the biggest customer for Gripen. It has purchased 100 Gripen C single-seater and D dual-seater jet fighters. Sweden is prepared to procure another 60 fighters in the immediate future.
In Southeast Asia, Thailand is the only country flying the Gripen, with an acquisition of 12 jet fighters.
The group from Indonesia also visited the Gripen production line in Linkoping. A solo 15-minute performance from a Gripen D during the Linkoping visit showed what the fighter could do. Various aerobatic maneuvers were displayed and fighter looked solid and up to the task.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Sweden and Latvia, Dewa Made J. Sastrawan, meanwhile said he expected Saab would have the opportunity to offer its package to Indonesia.
“I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find a more complete strategic defence package supported by the comprehensive transfer of technology than the one offered by Saab. I hope they can make an offer to the government back home,” he said.
Saab brings to Indonesia world leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Indonesia is identified as a strategically important market for Saab, which therefore is intensifying its efforts in the country. Saab opened a new office in Jakarta 2013.
Saab’s product portfolio includes many systems that would ensure high tech and proven solutions with good value for money for the planned further development of the Indonesian Armed Forces. Saab is supplying high performance, cost efficient defence systems to the Indonesian Armed Forces. These systems include the RBS70 and the Giraffe Radar, G40.