Sundt Air key player in major contract with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)
Textron Aviation, aircraft manufacturer of the Cessna Citation Latitude will deliver 3 new flight checker custom aircraft to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF), and they have chosen Sundt Air’s sister company Norwegian Special Mission (NSM), as their supplier. Sundt Air will be NSM’s modification and aircraft operational partner on the contract and by this, the co-located sister companies continue to be a key partner for Textron in the Special Mission arena.
A Flight Inspection System (FIS) is an inspection equipment used for calibrating and validating Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. The system is integrated into an aircraft and is used for quality control of systems such as, communication, navigation and surveillance equipment (CNS), as well as to validate instrument procedures. “Extensive modifications are needed for installation of FIS equipment in an aircraft, accountable manager of Sundt Air, Geir Jensen states.”
Design, build and operate - the entire product from A to Z
This area of special mission generally covers special flight operations such as Airborne Surveillance, Flight Inspection and Remote Sensing. To perform these special operations, regular business and commercial aircraft have to be modified. The interior of the aircraft has to be removed and modified, before reinstallation together with mission management systems, sensors, consoles and other equipment for subsequent testing, registration and certification, Jensen explains.
For JASDF, the chosen aircraft were 3 Cessna Citation Latitude manufactured by US aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation, NSM UNIFIS 3000 FIS systems and the expertise of Sundt Air on modifications, certifications and operations of the flight checker aircraft.
We are not just a workshop, but also an operational department – and we can deliver turn-key special mission solutions through the companies in the Sundt Group. Textron Aviation turned to us again and getting trust from the manufacturer giant is definitely great, Jensen states.
Special Mission for Nordic Authorities
The two sister companies unsurprisingly have several good collaborative projects to refer to already. The Norwegian Coastal Administration and the Coast Guard are responsible for airborne maritime surveillance in Norwegian waters. The aircraft are equipped with consoles from Norwegian Special Mission, and are modified, leased and operated by Sundt Air. In Denmark as well, the job of monitoring the coastline and surrounding naval areas is important in the fight against environmental crime in shipping, oil and fishing industries. Here, Sundt Air operates a similar aircraft with an operational team performing the service on contract with the Danish Defense Command. Demand for this type of service is growing and Sundt Air has noticed interest from several European countries, according to Jensen.
– Maritime surveillance aircraft can be equipped with a variety of aids depending on the principal’s requirements. For example, SLAR (side looking airborne radar), infrared camera, radar, regular camera, drop tube to drop buoys marking a contaminated area enabling surface vessels to find the location afterwards, and finally to drop life-saving equipment like life rafts. In the field of maritime surveillance, we offer everything from the modification of the aircraft itself, to providing the maritime surveillance service operation. Anything the customer wants can be built within the physical limitations of the aircraft, Jensen says.
International door opener
There will be plenty to do in the hangar at Sundt Air in the future. The first aircraft is already undergoing final modifications, with the others following in the near future. Several other projects are in the pipeline. Sundt Air is continuing to prove its position in world wide special mission field as a professional, reliable and financial strong partner for modification and operation of special mission aircraft.
– Sundt Air in little Norway being able to compete at this level is very stimulating. A job of this extent and with such big players is great both for us and for Norwegian aviation, so this is very exciting, says Jensen.