S 100B Argus – SAAB 340B AEW (1997-    )

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The Air Force 2000 plan, decided by the Parliament, was the driving force behind the development of  a Swedish own AEW (Airborne Early Warning) capability. The plan combines a number of highly capable assets, like the JAS 39 multi-role combat aircraft, the StriC national command and control system and the TARAS digital tactical communications system. 

The AEW flying platform consists of six modified SAAB 340B passenger aircraft, with Air Force designation S 100B, also named “Argus” after the mythological giant with 100 eyes. To these aircraft, Ericsson has delivered six ERIEYE radar systems. The ERIEYE, also designated FSR 890, is a pulse-Doppler and multi-mode radar working in the S-band. The PS 890 has a phased array antenna, mounted on the top of the fuselage. The radar has a coverage of a 120 degrees sector on each side of the aircraft. Both the tasking of the AEW aircraft, and the control of the actual radar onboard, are conducted from Sweden’s new control and reporting centres (StrilC). At a StriC facility the overall air picture is built up using information from ground radars, the FRS 890/S 100B and other aircraft’s sensors such as the JAS 39 Gripen. The merged sensor data is monitored and controlled by StriC and then transferred as target tracks to different units of the Swedish Defence Forces. 

The dorsal mounted antenna contains most of the radar hardware including about 200 transmitter/receiver modules. The weight of the antenna unit is about 900 kg and the length is ten metres. The antenna unit has a air intake in the front to provide cooling air for the electronics inside. 

As the AEW radar is controlled from the ground, the crew of the aircraft consists of only three – two pilots and one technican. Usually, four of the S 100Bs flies with the radars mounted and the other two without radar equipment as transport aircraft with space for 30 passengers. One SAAB 340B, designated TP 100A, is also purchased by the Air Force, and is used for VIP transports. See the chapter “Transport Aircraft”. 

The S 100B is powered with two General Electric CT7-9B turboprops, each delivering 1870 hp (1395 kw). An APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) is installed to give electric power to the radar installation. 

SAAB has now ended the production of the 340. Totally 459 aircraft in different versions were built.   

Photos of # 100002 at Malmen, May 2001 (top and below) and at Bromma Airport, April 1998 (bottom). Note the marking “FC” (“Försökscentralen – the Test Establishment) on the oldest photo.

Length: 19,72 m. Span: 21,44 m. MTOW: 13.000 kg. Max. speed: 510 km/h.



Much of the information above is borrowed from the brochure “FSR 890 – S 100B ARGUS” published by the Swedish Armed Forces/Flygvapnet.

For the Model Builder

Broplan (Janusc Brozek, Gdansk, Poland), well-known manufacturer of vacuform kits, has released two models of the S 100B Argus.

One is a model of an S 100B with the AEW radar at top of the fuselage. The photo on the box shows aircraft 100002. Catalogue number is MS-117.

The other box has catalogue number MS-118 and is marked “SAAB 340B/Tp 100A”, but “Tp 100A” seems to be a mistake. The picture shows the S 100B with Swedish Air Force number 100007 and the grey painting scheme of the S 100B variant. No AEW radar is fitted. (Broplan has also another kit, catalogue no. MS-115, of the TP 100A with Sw AF no. 100009 painted as a TP 100 really should be. Go to the TP 100 page!)

The kits are described as “finely formed vacuform kits with injection moulded small parts. Alps (quite useful!) decals included for a Swedish AF machine.” Scale 1:72.

Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures!

Vacuform kit of S 100B by Broplan, Poland. Scale 1:72. Click on thumbnail for larger image.
Vacuform kit of S 100B by Broplan, Poland. Scale 1:72. Click on thumbnail for larger image.
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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-17