Sweden offers Ukraine Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft

Saab 340

Sweden offers Ukraine its AEW&C Saab 340 aircraft, reinforcing its air and sea surveillance capabilities.

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Sweden has decided to donate its Saab 340 AEW&C air surveillance and control aircraft to Ukraine, as part of its largest military assistance package since the large-scale invasion of Russia. This support is aimed at improving Ukraine’s ability to detect and engage long-range air and sea targets. At the same time, Sweden will modernize and expand its own fleet with Saab GlobalEye aircraft. This transfer is accompanied by training, technical equipment and methodological support for Ukraine.

Saab 340 AEW&C donation

Sweden recently announced that it would donate its Saab 340 airborne surveillance and control aircraft to Ukraine. This decision is part of a military assistance program valued at SEK 13.3 billion (approx. €1.2 billion). The Saab 340 AEW&Cs, equipped with the Erieye radar, will significantly enhance Ukraine’s detection and engagement capabilities against air and sea threats.

The Saab 340 AEW&C are twin-engine turboprop aircraft, equipped with an advanced radar system capable of detecting targets over 450 km away for airborne threats, and 320 km for surface vessels. These capabilities will enable Ukraine to improve its air and sea surveillance, crucial in the context of the ongoing conflict with Russia.

In addition to aircraft, Sweden will provide specialized training, technical equipment and methodological support to ensure effective integration of these new capabilities into the Ukrainian armed forces. Close coordination with the coalition of military aviation capabilities and the introduction of Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft in Ukraine are key aspects of this initiative.

Advantages and disadvantages of the transfer

Advantages :

  1. Strengthening Ukrainian capabilities: Ukraine will benefit from an enhanced ability to detect and engage long-range targets, increasing its air and sea surveillance and defense.
  2. Enhanced international cooperation: This initiative strengthens bilateral relations between Sweden and Ukraine, as well as cooperation within the international military coalition supporting Ukraine.
  3. Modernization of Swedish forces: Sweden will use the transfer to modernize and expand its own fleet with more advanced Saab GlobalEye aircraft.


  1. Temporary reduction in Swedish capabilities: The donation of the Saab 340 AEW&C will lead to a temporary reduction in Sweden’s defense capability until the new GlobalEye aircraft are operational.
  2. Dependence on partners: Sweden will have to rely on the participation and support of other coalition countries to compensate for this temporary reduction in capability.
  3. High cost: The acquisition and integration of new GlobalEye aircraft represents a substantial financial investment for Sweden.
Saab 340

Consequences for Sweden and Ukraine

For Sweden:

The donation of Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft to Ukraine will have several important consequences for Sweden. In the short term, it means a reduction in its air and sea surveillance capabilities, requiring compensatory measures. Sweden plans to reinforce its capabilities by accelerating the delivery of two new GlobalEye aircraft and ordering an additional one. These new aircraft, based on the Bombardier Global 6000, will offer more advanced and versatile surveillance capabilities.

In the long term, this modernization could improve Sweden’s overall defense capability, making its air force more effective in the face of future threats. However, this represents a significant financial cost and requires strategic management to ensure a seamless transition.

For Ukraine :

For Ukraine, the reception of the Saab 340 AEW&C is a major asset. These aircraft will enable Ukraine to improve its surveillance and air defense capabilities, which is crucial in the context of its conflict with Russia. By increasing its ability to detect and engage long-range targets, Ukraine will be able to better protect its airspace and maritime borders.

In addition, this initiative demonstrates strong international support for Ukraine, strengthening its position and military capabilities. The training and technical support provided by Sweden will facilitate the integration of these new systems into the Ukrainian armed forces, increasing their operational effectiveness.

Support for Ukraine

Sweden’s military assistance to Ukraine is part of a wider context of international support in the face of the Russian invasion. Many European countries and NATO allies have provided weapons, equipment and financial support to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities. This dynamic underlines the importance of international cooperation in collective security and defense.

AEW&C aircraft play a crucial role in modern military operations, providing advanced air surveillance and control. They coordinate air operations, monitor enemy movements and provide real-time information to military commands. In the context of the conflict in Ukraine, these capabilities are particularly vital in countering Russian air and sea incursions.

Sweden’s donation of Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft to Ukraine represents significant support that will enhance Ukrainian defense capabilities. This transfer will have important strategic implications for both countries, strengthening their surveillance and defense capabilities while underlining the importance of international security cooperation.

War Wings Daily is an independant magazine.