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IDEX: UAE Air Force to Procure a CHALLENGER 650 in Multi-mission Configuration

Aquila Aerospace to Modify, Test and Supply – Holds Option for Second Aircraft

Aquila Aerospace has obtained a contract from the UAE Air Force (UAEAF) for the supply of a single CHALLENGER 650 aircraft in multi-mission configuration to expand the UAE’s maritime surveillance and search and rescue capabilities. The company holds an option for the supply of a second aircraft.

The aircraft, a special mission variant of the CHALLENGER business jet platform, is to be equipped with proven systems, providing significant capabilities in maritime surveillance, search and rescue, medical evacuation and command transportation. Aquila, with the support of Bombardier’s Specialised Aircraft division, will conduct the modification, integration, testing and certification of the aircraft at its modification centre at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi. Aircraft modifications will meet the UAEAF requirements, including the installation of sensors, mission operator stations, observation windows and air operable doors. The aircraft is expected to be delivered to Al Bateen in 2019.

Aquila’s Al Bateen facility is the first and – currently – only modification centre in the Gulf region specifically focused on specialised derivatives of business aircraft, according to company Chairman Homaid Al Shimmari. The company’s strength lies in offering world-class service and indigenous capability, complemented by the highest-calibre aviation professionals, partners and manufacturers.

This and future programs will create a new approach to the dynamic international marketplace, whereby all parties mutually contribute and create solutions for a wide range of missions. Aquila aims to develop future Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions based on well-established, cost-effective, long range and high-endurance business aircraft platforms.

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