Aquila Aerospace has signed a contract with the United Arab Emirates Air Force for the supply of one next-generation Challenger 650 aircraft in multi-mission configuration to update and expand the Emirates’ maritime and airborne surveillance and search and rescue capabilities. Aquila has an option to supply a second Aircraft to the UAEAF.
The aircraft, a special mission variant of the Challenger business jet platform, is to be equipped with proven systems, providing outstanding capabilities in maritime surveillance, search and rescue, medical evacuation and command transportation.
Aquila, with the support of Bombardier’s Specialized Aircraft division, will conduct the modification, integration, testing and certification of the variant at its modification centre at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi. Aircraft modifications will meet the UAEAF requirements, including the installation of various sensors, mission operator stations, observation windows, and air operable doors. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to the modification centre in 2019.
Aquila is the first and only modification centre in the Gulf region specifically focused on specialized derivatives of business aircraft, said Homaid Al Shimmari, Aquila chairman. Aquila’s strength lies in offering a world-class service, indigenous capability complemented by the highest-calibre aviation professionals, partners and manufacturers, he added.
The company also has plans to develop future C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) solutions based on well-established, cost-effective, long range and high-endurance business aircraft platforms.
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