Sweden's Saab Nyge Aero is to modify two Bombardier CL-415 amphibians for search-and-rescue (SAR) and maritime surveillance missions for an unidentified Mediterranean government customer.
The three-year contract, which includes an option to modify a third aircraft, signals the formal launch of the coastguard variant of the twin-turboprop CL-415 after several years of sales efforts.
The aircraft will be fitted with a Swedish Space MSS-5000 mission system, which will process radar and forward-looking infrared (FLIR)data for display on an operator's console.
Ericsson side-looking radar antennas will be installed on either side of the upper fuselage aft of the wing. A search radar will be mounted in the nose and a FLIR in the wing leading edge.
Bombardier will install an autopilot and enlarge the cargo door to allow deployment of a rigid inflatable jet boat developed by the Canadian manufacturer.
The coastguard package will add $5-10 million to the CL-415's $23 million base price. The aircraft will still be able to perform its basic firefighting mission, with slightly reduced payload.
Tom Appleton, president of Bombardier's Amphibious Aircraft division, says Saab Nyge Aero was selected to modify the aircraft because of its experience with the MSS-5000 mission system.
Appleton is not allowed to identify the launch customer, but says the aircraft are part of an already announced order. Bombardier has sold 55 CL-415s. Italy was the last customer to be announced, ordering two additional aircraft late last year to take its total to 15.
Source: Flight International