Following on from a recent contract win in Iraq, Alec Mackenzie, chairman of Seabird Aviation Jordan, has come to Farnborough looking to establish contacts for the company's potential expansion in Iraq.

Seabird Aviation Jordan is an Amman-based joint venture established in July last year between the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) of Jordan and Seabird Aviation Australia.

In June, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), working with the Iraqi air force, ordered two of Seabird's Seeker SB7L-360 surveillance aircraft (above) and Seabird is hopeful of winning further orders. Mackenzie said the CPA described these two aircraft as being the initial acquisition of a tentative buy of 16.


"If we move forward into the next phase of delivering large numbers of aircraft, we will be contracted for the establishment of a depot level facility in Iraq," he said.

He said the surveillance squadron operating bases would not be in Baghdad and it was not yet determined whether there would be one depot facility at each squadron location or a centralised facility.

The two Seekers are on schedule for delivery at the end of July. Training of eight Iraqi pilots, some of whom haven't flown for four years, is almost complete. Five Iraqis are also being trained for maintenance work. They will provide a first- line support capability for the aircraft. Until Iraq develops its own depot capability, Seabird will provide depot support from Jordan.

Source: Flight Daily News