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07 Dec 05. Cobham plc is delighted to announce that National Air Support company, Surveillance Australia Pty Ltd, part of Cobham’s Services Division, has been named preferred bidder for the twelve year A$1bn Australian Coastwatch contract. Cobham is the current provider of aerial Civil Maritime Surveillance services to the Australian Customs Service, which is the largest programme of its type in the world.

Under the new contract Cobham will provide, operate and maintain an updated fleet of ten Dash 8 aircraft through to the year 2020, starting in January 2008. If successful in being awarded the contract, it will be Cobham’s biggest ever single order and is a major milestone in an exacting three year tender process.

The new service based on Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, will double the fleet of fully electronic surveillance aircraft available under the existing contract from five to ten. The aircraft will provide all-weather, day and night electronic surveillance of Australia’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone to detect and deter illegal activity such as drug and people smuggling, illegal fishing and environmental offences.

Allan Cook, Cobham Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that Surveillance Australia has been selected as preferred provider to meet the Australian government’s future surveillance needs. This has the potential to be an extremely prestigious contract that would underline Cobham’s surveillance expertise in an increasingly demanding network-centric environment. This is a major milestone in the programme and we are working closely with the Australian Customs Service to finalise a contract which will operate until 2020.”

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