BOMBARDIER is conducting a 12-country demonstration tour with the first of three de Havilland Dash 8-200 maritime-patrol aircraft for Surveillance Australia. The tour began in Scandinavia, and is continuing through the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia, with the aircraft due to arrive in Australia in June and enter service in July.

The aircraft, ordered in September 1994 for $33 million, will be used for coastal surveillance for the Australian Customs Service under the nine-year Coastwatch contract won by Surveillance Australia, a subsidiary of National Jet Systems.

Toronto-based Field Aviation is installing mission systems in the three aircraft. The sensor suite consists of a 360°-scan surveillance radar mounted under the belly and a forward-looking infra-red turret under the nose. Two operators' consoles are installed in the cabin, adjacent to the emergency exits, which are replaced by large panoramic windows.

With a long-range fuel capacity of 4,630kg, the maritime-patrol Dash 8-200 has an 8h endurance.

Source: Flight International