www.wingsmagazine.com

News
Field Aviation selected to convert additional Dash 8 Q Series Aircraft

Jan. 29, 2008, Toronto - Field Aviation has been awarded a contract to convert two additional Bombardier de Havilland DASH 8-300 turboprop aircraft as Maritime Patrol (MPA)/Search and Rescue (SAR) platforms for the Japan Coast Guard.


January 29, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

Jan. 29, 2008, Toronto – Field Aviation company of Toronto has been awarded a contract to convert two additional Bombardier de Havilland DASH 8-300 turboprop aircraft as Maritime Patrol (MPA)/Search and Rescue (SAR) platforms for the Japan Coast Guard. This follows an initial contract for three Japanese DASH 8-300 MPAs signed in January of 2007, and currently under completion.

Sojitz Corporation of Japan is the prime contractor to the Japan Coast Guard for this project.  The two Q300 aircraft will be acquired from Bombardier Aerospace, including Field Aviation’s  modifications. The aircraft will be modified by Field Aviation at its Toronto modification centre and will feature a missionized interior, large conformal observation windows and a unique, Field-developed and certified air-drop capability through the inflight-operable rear cargo door.

Surveillance sensors employing the latest technology will be installed, including a 360˚ surface search radar, a stabilized FLIR electro-optical multi-spectral imaging payload, as well as a new suite of modern mission navigation communications systems.  The aircraft modifications, valued at $US13 million, will commence in January, 2009, and both aircraft will be delivered by November, 2009.
 
Japan’s new aircraft will be operated as the next-generation fixed-wing turboprop for maritime patrol and search and rescue duty within Japan’s area of maritime responsibility.  

The Dash 8 was first modified for the Maritime Patrol role by Field in 1995, when three aircraft were delivered to Surveillance Australia which provides airborne surveillance of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), under the country’s COASTWATCH program. Two additional Dash 8 MPAs were delivered to Australia in 2000, and Field is currently modifying additional aircraft that have seen the Surveillance Australia fleet grow to 10 Dash 8s by the end of 2007.

Other customers for Field’s Dash 8 MPA/ SAR Aircraft modifications include US Customs and Border Protection, where the first of a fleet of Series 200 MPAs entered service in 2005,  as well as the Swedish Coast Guard and the Iceland Coast Guard.. 

Field Aviation is recognized worldwide for its conversions of heavy turboprop and turbofan aircraft for special missions. The company provides end-to-end solutions for parapublic, defense and specialized air support operators which require fast deployment of cost-efficient,  reliable airborne platforms, Field celebrated its 60th year of operation in Canada in 2007.