Poland Takes Delivery of Its Second Saab 340 AEW Platform

Polish Saab 340
Two Polish Saab 340 AEW&C aircraft at the 43rd Naval Aviation Base in Gdynia. (Image Credit: Cpt. Marcin Kołodziejski/Armament Agency of the Polish MoD via X)

The Swedish-made smaller-size AWACS equivalent will allow the Polish Air Force to monitor its airspace more closely, and allow the air defense system to adequately react to the potential threats.

The second of the Polish Saab 340 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Command) aircraft procured by Poland as a gap-filler solution to cover the airborne early warning capability gap landed at the 43rd Naval Aviation Base in Gdynia on Jun. 10, 2024. It follows the arrival of the first example, that was delivered and became a part of the Gdynia-based Navy’s Aviation Brigade back in March this year.

Poland procured two second-hand AEW platforms from Sweden. The package also included ground support equipment, logistics support package, and maintenance support and came at a net price of EUR 52 million (PLN 230 million, SEK 600 million).

This acquisition significantly enhances Poland’s situational awareness capabilities.

With the ongoing war in Ukraine beyond Poland’s eastern border, these AEW platforms will be invaluable for air policing. Recent incidents involving Russian and Ukrainian missiles and Belarusian aircraft entering Polish airspace underscore the need for advanced AEW platforms to manage unforeseen situations effectively.

The procurement of own AEW platforms made by Poland bolsters the capabilities provided by the NATO AWACS fleet, monitoring the airspace on the Eastern Flank. Two aircraft provide an adequate level of operational flexibility, depending on the needs Poland may have. The aircraft provide airborne radar capability which makes it possible to detect air threats at vast distances (depending on their altitude), including low level threats like cruise missiles or UAVs that might be a significant challenge to detect for the ground-based sensors.

To further enhance the airborne sensor capabilities, Poland is also procuring aerostats in this domain.

Less than a month ago, the U.S. State Department approved Poland’s purchase of Airspace and Surface Radar Reconnaissance (ASRR) Aerostat systems and related equipment in a $1.2 billion (4.8 billion zlotys) deal.

As we reported in the past, Sweden has also donated its Saab 340B AEW&C aircraft to Ukraine, following an announcement by its defense ministry on May 29, 2024.

The Saab’s airframe is becoming increasingly common in the Central Eastern European region. These aircraft, known as S100D/ASC890 in the Swedish military, are part of a broader military aid package valued at 13.3 billion Krona ($1.3 billion), which also includes land systems such as armored carriers, artillery ammunition, and “resources for maintenance of previously donated material,” according to Defense Minister Pål Jonson.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.