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Viking Air Limited of Victoria, B.C., has signed a contract valued at US$42.6 million with the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) for the Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) for eight of its Canadair CL-415 aerial firefighters. With execution of the contract, MTQ becomes the launch customer for the Viking AUP for the Canadair CL-415 amphibious aircraft fleet.
The first of MTQ’s eight CL-415 aircraft to be modified through the Viking AUP will become the prototype for the program and will undergo modification and upgrade activities at Viking’s AUP integrator, Cascade Aerospace, in Abbotsford, B.C. This process will comprise the design, installation, testing and certification of the Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system in collaboration with Collins Aerospace as the component OEM.
After program certification, MTQ’s remaining seven CL-415 aircraft will also undergo the avionics upgrade to their specific configuration at Cascade’s facility.
“We are extremely proud to collaborate with Ministère des Transports du Québec on the modernization of their CL-415 aerial firefighter fleet. By working together with dedicated Canadair operators such as MTQ, we are securing the future of this great aircraft all over the world,” said Gregory Davis, Viking’s vice-president of Customer Service and Product Support.
“As an original launch customer for both the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415, the Ministère des Transports du Québec has always been actively engaged in the development of the CL platform,” said Dan Seroussi, Viking’s director of Programs. “We are excited to be working with MTQ to further enhance the Canadair CL-415 through our AUP and deliver the best evolution of the aircraft for the future.”
To face challenges with supportability and end-of-life components inherent with aging technology, the AUP utilizes modern and reliable COTS systems that will easily interface with specialized mission equipment. The system is designed as a complete integrated solution for a harmonized cockpit that will not only meet current regulatory requirements, it will also address future operational and technical requirements over a 25-plus year horizon.
A key component of the AUP is the introduction of the Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system, a FAR/Part 25 certified scalable software-based system. The avionics suite’s core configuration includes flight director, flight management system (FMS) coupled with SBAS-GPS and LPV capability, terrain awareness warning system (TAWS), ADS-B Out, synthetic vision, crew alerting system display indicators, and a multi-functional keyboard panel with dual cursor controls providing an alternative to touch screen commands. A SATCOM system, multiband radio, weather radar, datalink and auto-pilot are few of the available options to further enhance and customize the avionics system based on operator requirements.
The AUP will initially be offered as an upgrade to operators of CL-215T or CL-415 who can select either a complete modification including the supply and installation of the avionics suite, or as a parts kit for installation by an approved maintenance repair organization.
Skies’ previous report on the avionics upgrade can be found here.