Field Aviation Begins MSA Modifications on Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 for Icelandic Coast Guard
Field Aviation begins MSA modifications on Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 for Icelandic Coast Guard
In a brief ceremony, Field Aviation took delivery from Bombardier Aerospace of a Dash 8 Q300 aircraft that is being modified to become a maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) for the Icelandic Coast Guard.
In a brief ceremony, Field Aviation took delivery from Bombardier Aerospace of a Dash 8 Q300 aircraft that is being modified to become a maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) for the Icelandic Coast Guard. Field Aviation purchased this aircraft as part of a contract worth in excess of $US30 million that was awarded to the company in May, 2007. The contract specifications are very similar to the three Dash 8 Q300 MSAs that Field Aviation recently completed and delivered for the Swedish Coast Guard, and in a fitting changeover, the aircraft for Iceland arrived at Field Aviation just as the last aircraft for Sweden was being prepared for its delivery flight.
The Field Aviation modified MSA is scheduled for completion in July 2009, and will replace the Icelandic Coast Guard’s aging Fokker F-27 maritime surveillance aircraft currently employed as the first-response vehicle on location.
To date, Field has sales or options for 29 MSAs worldwide using the popular Dash 8 Series aircraft. Seventeen have been delivered to date. The company believes there is a large and growing market for its technical capability and expertise in this highly specialized area.
“Growing airborne surveillance requirements to protect our fisheries interests and to fight environmental pollution with a more suitable platform for the coming decades aircraft have made this replacement a necessity”, says Icelandic Coast Guard’s Georg Larusson, Director General of the Icelandic Coast Guard. “We are impressed by the work that Field Aviation performed with the Swedish Coast Guard airplanes, and this gave us confidence in trusting them to supply us with an MSA which would exceed our mission requirements.”
“The Dash 8 has an excellent reputation for safety and durability in operating environments similar to what the Icelandic Coast Guard will experience,” says Joar Gronlund, COO of Field Aviation. “The aircraft will be converted to the full Icelandic MSA configuration at our Toronto facility, which has a pre-eminent performance record on projects of similar complexity and size.”
The basic Dash 8 Q300 aircraft platform is equipped with long-range fuel tanks (8+ hours endurance), and an auxiliary power unit. Field Aviation will outfit the aircraft with Maritime Search Radar, Side Looking Radar and an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red pod. All sensors will feed into an integrated data handling system from L-3 Communications – Integrated Systems. Field’s recently-STC’d air-operable rear door will allow crews to deploy location flares, paradrop personnel, oil sampling buoys and larger items such as inflatable life rafts while on mission patrol.
The Icelandic MSA will perform multi-mission roles, including search and rescue, maritime sovereignty patrol, environmental/pollution control, interdiction, medevac, personnel transportation and other first-response activities. Compared to the existing aircraft, the Dash 8 Q300 MSA will offer significantly higher mission availability at a much lower operating cost, its speed and endurance will shorten transit times and give more time on station and the Q300’s proprietary Active Noise and Vibration Suppression system, will provide a superior working environment for Iceland’s Coast Guard crews.
Field Aviation has become a recognized market leader in modifying commercial aircraft for special mission roles and has enjoyed success in highly competitive international markets including Australia, Denmark, Iceland, Japan, Sweden and the USA and has firm contracts for the production of nine additional MSA platforms for three other end users.
Field Aviation, which celebrated 60 years in business in 2007, is based in Toronto, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta. The company is a leading provider of aircraft modifications and related services such as aviation sales, parts manufacturing and technical services to general, commercial, military and government communities throughout the world.