UAE adds Dash-8 Q300s for Maritime Patrol
IDEX 2009 grabbed headlines recently with multi-billion dollar deals for C-17 and C-130J transports. Those deals are likely to elevate the UAE’s position on the international stage, but interests closer to home also need tending. With the UAE’s trade hub of Dubai heavily dependent on shipping, and emirates like Abu Dhabi dependent on open waterways for oil exports, maritime patrol in the Arabian Gulf (aka. Persian Gulf) remains a priority.
Aerial surveillance is part of that mix, and an AED 1.071 billion (C$ 370M/ $290M) contract will add 2 specialized aircraft…
After an international competition, the UAE chose Provincial Aerospace Ltd.’s Dash-8 Q300 conversion. A number of governments already operate similar systems, from Australia’s public-private CoastWatch service to the Netherlands’ lease of Provincial Aerospace Dash-8MP aircraft to patrol its Caribbean holdings.
The order was still something of a surprise. The UAE already flies 7 CN-235 transports, and ordered 4 of the popular CN-235MPA Persuaders variant in 1998. Some local reports say that the Persuaders were never delivered, which would explain the continued need for a substitute.
The Q300MP contract includes design, modification, and integration, as well as training and integrated logistics support. Work will be performed in St. John’s, NL, Canada, and Provincial Aerospace will add more than 100 employees in order to execute it.
As the price tag might indicate, the UAE’s aircraft will be the most advanced Dash-8 maritime patrol aircraft in the world. Sensors and equipment will come from Thales in France (AMASCOS 300: incl. consoles and controls, Thales/EADS Ocean Master 100 radar, Thales Gemini navigation computer), Italy’s Elettronica S.p.a. (electronic countermeasures), Germany’s Rohde & Schwarz (secure telecommunications), Honeywell in Britain, Saab Systems in South Africa (likely Saab Avitronics), and the USA’s FLIR Systems Inc. (surveillance turrets). Provincial Aerospace release | The Telegram of Newfoundland and Labrador | Arabian Aerospace.