Royal Saudi Air Force buys electronic warfare and surveillance aircraft from Ukraine

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The Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces are expected to procure a modern Ukrainian electronic warfare and surveillance aircraft based on An-132 cargo plane.

The new electronic warfare (EW) and surveillance aircraft will be based on the An-132 light multi-mission transport aircraft. According to the designers, the new electronic warfare (EW) aircraft can counter airborne warning and control system planes, air defense systems and manned and unmanned aircraft.

The An-132 aircraft is going to be propelled by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 engines, with six-bladed Dowty Propellers Company R408 propellers. The fully digital avionics system is going to be delivered by Honeywell, while the life support system is to be provided by the Liebherr company. The airframe has been designed with a wide application of modern alloys and composite materials.

The An-132, which is a modernized variant of the An-32 cargo plane, is to have a doubled range. It is also going to have better capabilities when it comes to the carried payload, while the airframe is designed in a way which provides the aircraft with STOL capabilities, so important when the missions require to carry out unprepared runway operations.

Production is going to take place at the Taqnia Aeronautics facility in Saudi Arabia, which is an element of the diversification plan for profit of the country, realized by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) facility.

IHS Jane’s reports that the Saudi armed forces are expected to procure a minimum two planes for electronic warfare (EW) operations.

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