The Australian Government is poised to issue a request for tenders (RFT) for the supply of up to nine aircraft of various types to replace a fleet of Boeing, Cessna, Dassault and Raytheon aircraft operated by the Royal Australian Air Force.

The package, which could include up to three different sizes of aircraft, is expected to involve 10-year lease terms. Expected bidders include manufacturers, leasing companies, remarketing agents and dealers. The RFT had been expected earlier this year, and is now believed to be imminent.

The bulk of the requirement is to replace five Dassault Falcon 900s which the RAAF operates on leases due to expire in October 1999 (but which have extension options). Among potential replacements are the Bombardier Canadair Challenger 604, Global Express, and Regional Jet-based Special Edition and the Cessna Citation X; Dassault Falcon models; Embraer RJ-145; Fairchild Dornier 328JET; Gulfstream GIV-SP and GV and the Raytheon Hawker Horizon. The Global Express and GV could also be pitched for the requirement, as well as for a longer range aircraft.

A larger airliner sized model is also being sought, with the Boeing Business Jet (based on the 737-700) and Airbus A319CJ Corporate Jetliner being offered to replace the ageing and noisy Boeing 707-300s operated on international flights. Leasing companies, rather than Boeing, are among the 737 bidders, while Sydney, Australia, based Hawker Pacific will offer the A319CJ.

Source: Flight International