Cobham, Wimborne, United Kingdom, recently announced it has secured the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) contract to provide an airborne search and rescue capability in Australia for 12 years from 2016, with aircraft modification and mobilization activity to commence later this year. AMSA utilizes aircraft based in strategic locations across Australia to perform search and rescue tasks such as searching for missing people, locating activated distress beacons, providing communications support at an incident and dropping survival equipment to people in distress.
The contract, secured through open industry competition, has a value including estimated flying charges of AUD $640 million ($563,283,200 U.S.) over 12 years. If three additional optional years are exercised by AMSA, the full value would exceed AUD $700 million ($616, 091, 000 U.S.).
Cobham will acquire, modify, commission and then operate and maintain four Bombardier Challenger CL-604 special mission jet aircraft to provide a search and rescue capability over land and at sea. The aircraft will be specially modified to Australian requirements and fitted with new generation sensors, high-vision windows and air operable doors for aerial delivery of life saving equipment. Much of the modification work will be undertaken at Cobham’s facilities in Adelaide, South Australia. The aircraft will be based in Cairns, Melbourne and Perth.