Sweden to deliver an early warning air-borne system to UAE in April

Haseeb Haider
Filed on March 16, 2011

ABU DHABI — Sweden’s Saab Group, one of the leading global defence contractors, will deliver to the UAE next month the second of the two Erieye long range Airborne Early Warning & Control systems.

“The Swedish firm won a deal in November 2009, to sell two latest early warning systems to the UAE,” to beef up its ariel and on land surveillance, Magnus Scholdtz, Sweden Ambassador said.

Speaking to reporters on the occasion of opening of the Middle East’s largest IKEA store on Yas Island, he said each system will cost Dh750 million.

“It marks the growing trade and economic ties between the UAE and Sweden,“ he said.

“We’ve offered to the UAE to sell four more such aircraft... it is up to the UAE to decide,” the ambassador said.

“The surveillance system will map whatever is happening in the air and in waters by producing a real time picture of the neighbourhood, “the ambassador said. The information obtained can be used for border surveillance, rescue operations as well as in combating terrorism and organised crime. The ambassador said that Sweden’s trade with the UAE is growing and despite the global financial crisis in the last two years, it has grown to $1 billion in 2010, which is higher than what was reported in the previous year.

Ambassador Magnus was pretty satisfied with the size of the trade between the two nations, as Sweden is ‘self sufficient’ in its energy needs, and does not import oil and gas from the UAE.

“We generate 40 per cent of our electric power from hydro resources, another 40 per cent comes from nuclear reactors while the rest is generated from renewable resources,”, he said.

Sweden’s economy, which was hit by the global economic crisis, he said was fast recovering with economic growth rate expected to grow 7.3 per cent this year.

About the home furnishing chain of stores IKEA, the ambassador said it was part of Sweden’s flagship companies, who were playing their role in boosting the economy.

“The company is planning to set up another outlet in Dubai, while a store will be opened in Qatar’s capital Doha and one will open its doors to customers in Egypt this year, l giving it a footprint in North Africa’s biggest

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