(Mississauga, Ontario, December 21, 2009) -- Field Aviation Company Inc. has delivered the last of seven Dash 8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
Following a thorough evaluation of aircraft, sensors and modifiers, Field Aviation modified the first Dash 8 Series 200 MPA aircraft for CBP in 2004, and additional aircraft were subsequently ordered such that the fleet now consists of four Dash 8 Series 200s and three larger Series 300 aircraft.
Field Aviation's role in this program has been to receive each aircraft as a standard commercial version from the manufacturer, modify the structure, interior, navigation and communications equipment as well as other systems so the sensor hardware and the mission management system could be installed by ATK Integrated Systems in the USA prior to final delivery to CBP.
Taking advantage of the arrangements that have already been established for exporting defence related products from Canada to the USA, all of the modified aircraft for CBP were contracted through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
Field Aviation's chief operating officer, Joar Gronlund said, "This has been a very successful program for all parties involved, and a successful example of international cooperation. When CBP first started looking for Maritime Patrol Aircraft in this class, Field Aviation was able to show and demonstrate one of the early Dash 8 Series 200 aircraft before it was delivered to our customer in Australia; this original MPA concept including the structural modifications and the general layout has been the basis for each succeeding customer variant.
"Field Aviation has never stood still with its development of the Dash 8 MPA, and several new features were introduced to meet specific CBP requirements, such as combined observation windows/emergency exits and the 1,000 lbs Maximum Take Off Weight increase," Gronlund added. "These improvements were subsequently incorporated into the Australian fleet when this was expanded and modernized between 2006 and 2007. We also ensured maximum commonality between CBP's first four Series 200 MPAs and their subsequent three larger Series 300 MPAs."
The primary elements of the surveillance system for CBP's Dash 8 MPAs consist of Raytheon's SeaVue 2032I Search Radar, L-3 Wescam's MX-15 EO/IR turret feeding sensor information to ATK Integrated System's ISADS Mission Management System.
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