The air show which accompanied last week’s Aerospace Forum in the Swedish city of Linkoping presented a rare opportunity to see one of the Royal Swedish Air Force’s (RSAF) two Gulfstream S102B Korpen Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft which are deployed with the RSAF’s 73 SIGINT squadron.
These aircraft replaced the two Sud Aviation TP-85 Caravelle SIGINT planes, one of which can be seen outside the RSAF’s museum, which were previously used for this role.
Both Gulfstreams are outfitted with a Northrop Grumman Wideband Tactical Surveillance System SIGINT system. This subsystem is capable of performing both Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) and Communications Intelligence (COMINT) gathering, with the latter being performed in the 2 megahertz to 20 gigahertz range. A two megabit-per-second datalink allows the intelligence gathered by the aircraft to be transmitted to other users on the ground.
According to RSAF sources, the 73 SIGINT squadron flies its S102B Korpen aircraft several times a week chiefly to gather ELINT and COMINT over the Baltic. This provides the RSAF, Swedish Navy and Swedish government intelligence agencies with a standard ‘picture’ of a normal day’s ELINT and COMINT traffic. By building a detailed day-to-day picture of normal electronic activity in this region
it is then possible to spot distinct and abnormal electronic activity which may require more detailed investigation. In addition to the display of the S-102B, Saab also exhibited its Giraffe air surveillance radar.