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Pakistan Air Force Inducts New AEWAC Aircraft

Pakistan Air Force Inducts New AEWAC Aircraft enhancing the early warning systems.

Pakistan Air Force Eyes Higher Skies with New Saab Erieye Aircraft

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently bolstered its aerial prowess with the induction of a new Saab 2000-based Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.

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Here’s a breakdown of this significant acquisition:

Strengthening Surveillance:

  • Serial 23058: This impressive aircraft joins an expanding fleet, bringing the PAF’s total Erieye count to seven, with potential for further additions.
  • Enhanced Vigilance: With a 450km detection range and advanced AESA technology, the Erieye empowers the PAF to keep a watchful eye on vast swathes of airspace.
  • Seamless Coordination: The system’s five mission operator consoles facilitate real-time data sharing and streamlined coordination between the AEW&C and fighter jets or other air assets.

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A Legacy of Acquisition:

  • From Six to Seven: The PAF’s Erieye journey began in 2006 with an initial order for six AEW&Cs, but the devastating 2005 earthquake led to a revised order of four.
  • Adapting to Challenges: Despite facing setbacks like the 2012 Minhas Air Base attack, the PAF displayed resilience, internally restoring two damaged aircraft and ensuring continued operational effectiveness.

Investing in the Future:

  • Modernization Matters: This latest acquisition showcases the PAF’s commitment to upgrading its arsenal with cutting-edge technology, vital for maintaining regional security and air defense capabilities.
  • Eyes on the Horizon: The expanded Erieye fleet underscores the PAF’s dedication to staying ahead of the curve and adapting to evolving aerial threats.

The saga of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF)’s Erieye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) fleet is one of recovery, expansion, and modernization. Let’s take a chronological look at this fascinating story:

From Loss to Revival:

  • The Setback: In 2012, an attack on Minhas Air Base damaged three of the initial four Erieye aircraft, jeopardizing the vital aerial surveillance capability.
  • Tenacity and Restoration: Demonstrating exceptional resilience, the PAF restored two of the damaged aircraft to operational status by 2015, effectively recovering a “fourth AEW&C system” as documented in the Ministry of Defence Production yearbook.

Expanding the Horizons:

  • Batch II Acquisition: Recognizing the importance of AEW&C capabilities, the PAF placed an order for three additional Erieye aircraft in 2017, confirmed by then Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.
  • Delivery Confirmed: Public export-import records and Saab’s announcements revealed the gradual delivery of these “Batch-II” aircraft between 2017 and 2019.

The Latest Addition:

  • Sixth System Acquired: The MoDP yearbook for 2017-2018 further confirmed the purchase of a “sixth” Erieye AEW&C, solidifying the expanding fleet.
  • 2020 Order and Induction: Saab’s 2020 announcement of a $160.5 million AEW&C sale, with deliveries between 2020 and 2023, ultimately fulfilled the PAF’s latest order, marked by the recent induction of aircraft with serial numbers ’20-057′ and ’23-058′.

The Significance:

The PAF’s Erieye fleet expansion highlights its unwavering commitment to enhancing aerial security and maintaining a vigilant watch over its airspace. This journey reflects:

  • Resolute Response: Overcoming the 2012 setback showcases the PAF’s remarkable resilience and commitment to operational readiness.
  • Continuous Modernization: The ongoing investments in new Erieye systems demonstrate the PAF’s dedication to staying ahead of evolving threats and adopting cutting-edge technology.
  • Enhanced Surveillance: With every additional AEW&C aircraft, the PAF bolsters its ability to monitor vast areas, ensuring greater airspace awareness and preparedness.

As the Erieye fleet continues to grow, the Pakistan Air Force stands ready to safeguard its skies with ever-greater vigilance and technological prowess.

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