With an eye to what it sees as a growing market for maritime surveillance aircraft, Saab has rolled out the Saab 340 MSA (maritime security aircraft) which it plans to showcase at the Farnborough air show in July.
The aircraft is a company demonstrator that could eventually be sold, says Jaokim Mevius, Saab’s head of Special Mission Aircraft Programs
The aircraft would feature one operator workstation, although up to four could be accommodated. Maximum endurance would be around 6 hours and 30 minutes, although Saab sees an option for auxiliary fuel tanks to boost that to more than 8 hours.
The Saab 340 MSA would feature a Telephonics 1700B synthetic aperture radar, and a electro-optical/infrared payload toward the rear of the fuselage.
Mevius sees not just the maritime surveillance market growing, but expects particularly strong growth in the near-term for smaller, Saab 340-sized aircraft. In the next decade, 50-100 such aircraft could be sold between Saab and competitors, he believes.
The aircraft could also be used for environmental monitoring missions through the addition of a side-looking airborne radar or UV/IR line scanner.
First flight of the aircraft, which was just painted, is expected soon.