Cobham Signs A$1bn Coastwatch Contract
(Source: Cobham plc; issued March 3, 2006)
Cobham plc (Cobham) is delighted to announce its largest contract award to date. National Air Support company, Surveillance Australia, has been awarded a new Australian Coastwatch contract worth A$1bn over twelve years.

In the biggest operation of its type in the world, Cobham will provide for the Australian government key elements of a border patrol service to detect illegal fishing and immigration, quarantine and environmental hazards, drug smuggling and missing vessels.

To fulfil the new requirement for ''all electronic surveillance'' from January 2008, ten Dash 8 aircraft will be equipped with new generation surveillance sensors, communications and data management systems, including a range of Cobham products. National Air Support will invest in upgrading five existing Dash 8 aircraft and add five more. Each aircraft will be capable of searching an area of more than 110,000 km2 per flight and operate from existing bases in Broome, Darwin, Horn Island and Cairns, providing all weather, day and night electronic surveillance of Australia’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The award underlines Cobham’s surveillance expertise in an increasingly demanding network-centric environment. The smaller turboprop and piston-engined aircraft in the current fleet will be progressively retired before the new contract takes effect.

Allan Cook, Cobham Chief Executive,said,

''We are delighted to extend our existing eleven year partnership with Coastwatch and the Australian government to meet their future surveillance needs. Each aircraft will act as a live link in a national data communications network providing timely, high quality surveillance information to Coastwatch so that they can make informed border security decisions in real time.''


--Cobham plc – with five technology divisions and one in a service sector, the Group designs and manufactures equipment, specialised systems and components for the aerospace, defence, communications, law enforcement and national security markets, and operates, maintains and modifies aircraft, particularly in relation to special mission flight operations and surveillance.

--National Air Support (NAS) Cobham's special mission aircraft operator in Australia, provides services including: aerial surveillance for Coastwatch; aircrew and maintenance for the Tenix LADS hydrographic survey aircraft and a Super Puma helicopter with industry partner Bristow Helicopters in support of the Australian Government’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

--NAS and sister company National Jet Systems are part of Cobham Flight Operations and Services Australia, operating a fleet of 48 fixed and rotary wing aircraft throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea, employing more than 1,100 people. As Australia's third largest high capacity aircraft operator the group provides passenger and freight services to Qantas, Australian air Express, and major resource industry and government organisations.


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