Toronto, 25 Oct. 2008 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 more than $30 million. 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.
Field has sales or options for 29 MSAs worldwide using the popular Dash 8 Series aircraft and 17 have been delivered to date.
"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 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. "The aircraft will be converted to the full Icelandic MSA configuration at our Toronto facility," says Joar Gronlund, chief operating officer of Field Aviation.
The basic Dash 8 Q300 aircraft platform is equipped with long-range fuel tanks (more than 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.