KUALA LUMPUR: Bombardier has issued a press release on the MMEA purchase of the two CL-415 amphibians. There is no mention of the contract price on the deal. However, the release did note that the contract is also for training and integration as MMEA purchased the Multi Purpose version equipped with special equipment such as radars and such.
Since we are paying for the “integration’ Malaysian Defence estimate that the contract price will easily exceed the RM200 million mark. One wonders who will pay for a new equipment if the current black boxes do not integrate? If Malaysian Defence remember correctly we have never been lucky with “integration” with any of our recent procurements, so the purchase of these amphibians seemed to be more and more dubious.
And with all the sensitive equipment on board, again, one have to wonder whether it will be prudent for these planes to land on water day in and day out? Furthermore, with the added weight in equipment, these planes will not be able to carry extra crew as boarding party. That means they will probably have to call a patrol boat to the scene, instead intervening directly, negating the need for amphibians in the first place.
Actually for Sabah’s coastal surveillance, I do believe an aerostat equipped with sophisticated sensors would be a better choice than a UAV or even amphibians.
From Bombardier website:
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Buys Two Bombardier 415 Multipurpose Aircraft
Montréal, June 13, 2008
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency becomes Asian launch customer for the Bombardier 415MP aircraft
Today, Bombardier Aerospace announced that the government of Malaysia has placed a firm order for two Bombardier 415 multipurpose amphibious aircraft (Bombardier 415MP) for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). With this order, the Malaysian government becomes the launch customer in Asia for the specialized Bombardier 415MP aircraft.
In addition, the contract includes aircraft integration and training.
A variant of the rugged Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft, the only aircraft specifically designed for aerial firefighting, the two Bombardier 415MP will be modified with maritime surveillance capabilities to meet the specialized needs of the MMEA. As such, the two Bombardier 415MP aircraft will be equipped with a state-of-the-art surveillance suite that includes two side-looking airborne radars, one forward-looking infrared radar, an airborne maritime surveillance system and other avionics and communications equipment.
“The aircraft’s ability to fly at low speed and low altitude with great manoeuvrability and to land on water also makes it an ideal aircraft for coastal patrol missions,” said Michel Bourgeois, President, Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft Division, Bombardier Aerospace.
“Our Bombardier 415MP aircraft also offers unique multi-mission capabilities for a wide range of missions as it combines the capabilities of a traditional surveillance aircraft with the added benefit of being able to execute direct interventions on water. It is a very capable and cost-effective aircraft, able to carry out a multitude of specialized missions that previously required dedicated vessels and aircraft,” added Mr. Bourgeois.
Since delivery of the first Bombardier 415 aircraft in 1994, Bombardier Aerospace has delivered 67 Bombardier 415 aircraft in Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Ontario, Québec and Spain, with 42 aircraft in operation in the Mediterranean region alone.
The multi-purpose Bombardier 415MP can be used in a variety of specialized missions such as search and rescue, environmental protection, coastal patrol and transportation. It is fitted with sophisticated sensors to locate and identify vessels, people in distress and pollutants.
A world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2008, were $17.5 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at www.bombardier.com.
Bombardier, Bombardier 415, Bombardier 415MP and CL-215 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc., or its subsidiaries.