Cobham wins Australian Maritime Safety Authority contract


Bombardier Challenger 604

Cobham, the aerospace, defence and communications company, has won a 12 year contract from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) contract to provide airborne search and rescue. It starts in 2016.

The contract is valued at AUD $640 million over 12 years. If three additional optional years are exercised by AMSA, the full value could exceed AUD $700 million.

Cobham will acquire, modify, commission and then operate and maintain four Bombardier Challenger 604 special mission aircraft to provide a search and rescue capability over land and at sea.

These aircraft will be specially modified to Australian requirements and fitted with state-of-the-art 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.

Peter Nottage, sector president of Cobham Aviation Services said: “In a situation where time can be the difference between life and death, Cobham will provide world-leading safety and rescue capability to AMSA and Australia. Building on Cobham’s 30 years of experience in special mission operations around the world, including in Australia, the turnkey solution we will provide to AMSA represents an evolutionary improvement in range capability and speed to incident sites with longer loiter and search time over the search zone.”

“In addition, the Mission Management and Communications System offers technological advantages, including latest generation electronic sensor technology and broadband satellite communications with real time sharing of streamed video, audio and imagery between the aircraft and AMSA’s Rescue Coordination Centre, based in Canberra, Australia,” Nottage added.

Cobham will employ five-member air crews, including a Captain, First Officer, Visual Search Officer, Electronic Search Observer and Aircraft Mission Coordinator who will be on permanent standby to enable search and rescue tasking at any time of day or night.