Originally designated as the SF340, the aircraft first flew on 25 January 1983. When Fairchild exited the aircraft manufacturing business in 1985 after about 40 units, Saab continued aircraft production under the designation 340A. An improved version, the 340B, introduced more powerful engines and wider horizontal stabilizers in 1989 and all the later standard 340B's also had the active soundproofing system. The final version, the 340B Plus, was delivered for service in 1994 and incorporated improvements that were being introduced at the same time in the Saab 2000. The production run of Saab 340s typically seated between 30 and 36 passengers, with 34 seats being the most common configuration. The last 2 Saabs built were constructed as older configuration 36-seat aircraft for Japan Air Commuter. One of the improvements introduced in the 340B Plus was the installation of an active noise and vibration control system in the cabin, reducing noise and vibration levels by about 10 dB during cruising flight. This optional feature carried over from the 340B was standard in the 340B plus along with extended wingtips. Another change from earlier models was the moving of the lavatory compartment from the aft of the passenger cabin to just aft of the flight deck. This increased total available cargo volume as the original location intruded into the cargo bin area. While the active soundproofing became standard on all Saab 340Bs in 1994 the first ever 340B Plus with the extended wingtips was delivered new to Hazelton Airlines in Australia in 1995, later operating for Regional Express, and currently for the Japanese Coast Guard. The military variants are the Saab 340AEW, 340AEW-200 & 340AEW-300, which are airborne early warning (AEW) and airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft. Production of all 340 models ended in 1999, and Saab ceased all civil aircraft production in 2005.