Air Force

Poland Unveils Its AEW Platform

Polish Saab 340 AEW.
Photo. Polish MoD

The first Saab 340 AEW platform that would be received by Poland has been unveiled in Sweden. A photo of the said aircraft has been published by the Head of the Polish MoD, Mariusz Błaszczak, via his X (formerly Twitter) account.

The MoD has revealed the plan to purchase Swedish AEW earlier this year, while Polish Air Force Inspector, brig. gen. Ireneusz Nowak revealed that Poland would purchase Saab 340 AEW during this year's Defence24 DAY conference.

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Interestingly, the aircraft is wearing a non-standard, light grey, almost white colour scheme. These colours are identical to the Saab 340 AEW aircraft that had previously been operated by the United Arab Emirates. Two aircraft as such had been used by UAE until the more modern Saab GlobalEyes were commissioned, and then the 340s were returned to Sweden. If, indeed, Poland takes over the former UAE aircraft, that would mean that the airframes are relatively new, as they were commissioned around 2011, contrary to the aircraft operated by the Swedish Air Force that were manufactured in the 1990s.

The unveiled aircraft wears the Polish checkerboard emblem and reg. no. 3401 (associated with the Saab 340 designation?), but the picture quality is very poor, and it is difficult to tell that exactly. It may be assumed that the second example would wear a 3402 registration number - as the current designation system suggests.

The aircraft also wears the Polish Air Force designation on the fuselage. This is aligned with the C-130s operated by Poland, but not with the C295Ms. Underneath the cockpit windows, an anchor may be found - common on the Bryza MPA. One should remember that both the Polish Navy Aviation Brigade, as well as the Air Force wings are subordinated to the General Command of the Armed Forces. The anchor may be associated with the home base in Siemirowice, where the 44th Naval Aviation Base is located, operating the patrol/reconnaissance M-28 Bryza aircraft.

The photo is puzzling, it cannot be ruled out that the paint scheme is erroneous. Or that electrostatic stickers have been used to roll out the platform wearing Polish colours quickly (namely, before the election).

Either way, the rapid and affordable (USD 60 million for two aircraft) procurement of the AEW platform is a very good piece of news for Poland and its Armed Forces - they would provide Poland with an entirely new set of capabilities, thanks to enhanced situational awareness.