The Saab Model 2000 was born in a late-1980s initiative by the company to provide a longer version of its in-market twin-turboprop-engined Saab Model 340 series. This aircraft was itself born in the 1970s and achieved a first-flight in January of 1983 with service introduction forthcoming the following year. The design proved a relative commercial success as some 459 examples were completed (the line still in active service). From this framework, a stretched version was developed that could carry more passengers yet still retain the high performance capabilities of the Model 340 over short-to-medium regional routes. The Model 2000 project was launched in 1989 and ultimately included component suppliers in Britain, Finland, and Spain. Out of the gate, Saab was able to secure forty-six total aircraft confirmed with an optional one-hundred forty-seven possible through future orders by customers.
As designed, the Model 2000 has an operating crew of two with a passenger-hauling capacity between 50 and 58 persons. The avionics fit is a Rockwell Collins ProLine 4 series suite with Integrated Avionics Processor (IAP) capability. The cockpit features side-by-side seating for the two crewmen and the forward instrument panel is dominated by large, full-color displays. Structurally, the aircraft has an overall length reaches 89.5 feet with a wingspan measuring 81.2 feet and a height of 25.3 feet. To compensate for the longer fuselage, the Model 2000 was given wider-spanning wings for better controlling. Empty weight is 30,425lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 50,265lb.
Its layout is highly conventional utilizing a cylindrical fuselage with low-mounted, straight wing mainplanes. Each mainplane is given an engine nacelle that extends well beyond the leading edges of the wings. The cockpit is seated aft of a short, well-sloped nosecone offering excellent views out-of-the-cockpit. The tail unit incorporates a single vertical fin and low-mounted horizontal planes. A wheeled tricycle landing gear arrangement is used for ground-running. The fuselage is dotted by rounded porthole-style windows for the passengers and rectangular access doors are the point of entry-exit.
Power is from 2 x Allison AE 2100A turboprop engines developing 4,152 shaft horsepower (each) driving six-bladed Dowty-brand propellers (constant speed). Performance includes a cruising speed of 425 miles per hour, a range out to 1,550 miles and a service ceiling of 31,000 feet. Its rate-of-climb is listed at 2,250 feet-per-minute.
Variants of the Model 2000 line have been few and far between. The regional airliner form seating up to fifty-eight is known simply as the Saab 2000. The Saab 2000FI was a flight inspection model produced in two examples for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (the JCAB operates it at the government level). Current civilian market operators can be found in Britain, the United States, and Switzerland. Many have since given up the Model 2000 for better alternatives.
Military-minded forms have become the Saab 2000 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control), Saab 2000 "Airtracer" SIGINT (Signals Intelligence), and Saab 2000 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) overwater patroller platforms. The AEW&C form carries an Erieye Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar fit to better serve the air battlespace management role. Primary military operators of the Model 2000 are the Pakistani Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force.
The Model 2000 has been unable to match the commercial successes of the Model 340 as it arrived in time to compete against the likes of the Brazilian Embraer ERJ145 and Canadian Bombardier CRJ series which has ultimately hurt the global exposure of the Model 2000. This, in turn, has limited production of the series to just 63 units from 1992 to 1999.
With its inherent reliability, speed, and flexibility, the Saab 2000 is finding growing interest among operators in the military sphere - particularly in mission-support roles like those listed above.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: Airborne Early Warning (AEW)
Specially-equipped platform providing over-battlefield Command and Control (C2) capability for allied aerial elements.
✓Special-Mission: Electronic Warfare (EW)
Equipped to actively deny adversaries the ElectroMagnetic (EM) spectrum and protect said spectrum for allied forces.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
89.5 ft (27.28 m)
81.2 ft (24.75 m)
25.4 ft (7.75 m)
30,424 lb (13,800 kg)
50,265 lb (22,800 kg)
+19,842 lb (+9,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Saab 2000 production variant)
None. Military models outfitted for various mission support roles such as AWACS and SIGINT.
Saab 2000 - Base Series Designation
Saab 2000FI ("Flight Inspection") - Special aircraft production for Japan; two examples.
Saab 2000 AEW&C - Airborne Early Warning & Control model for military service.
Saab 2000 Airtracer - SIGnals INTelligence (SIGINT) platform for military service.
Saab 2000 MPA - "Maritime Patrol Aircraft" for military service.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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