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Voyageur Aviation Corp. announced on Nov. 16 that it has secured a contract with the Department of National Defence (DND) to provide “several upgrades” to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) fleet of CT-142 Dash-8 training aircraft.
Voyageur, based in North Bay, Ont., offers specialized aviation services such as contract flying operations both internationally and domestically, and provides advanced engineering and maintenance capabilities.
“The award of this project further strengthens Voyageur’s portfolio on special mission aircraft,” the company said in a press release.
The RCAF’s 402 Squadron in Winnipeg, Man., operates a fleet of four CT-142 aircraft — a variant of the De Havilland Canada DHC-8-100 — that are utilized to train Air Combat Systems Officers (ACSO) and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators (AESOPs). The CT-142, nicknamed “Gonzo” thanks to its long nose, has been operating with 402 Squadron since the late 1980s/early 1990s. The aircraft features a set of on-board training computers and a sizeable radar system housed in its nose. Training on the turboprop involves navigation, tactics and surveillance, and search and rescue.
Voyageur said the planned modifications to the aircraft encompass upgrades to the communications, navigation, surveillance, and air traffic management avionics. Additionally, the project includes the integration of upgraded radar systems, coupled with training modules.
“The award of this contract supports our growth strategy of developing defence programs related to special mission aircraft services,” said Carl Kumpic, vice-president of defence and government programs at Voyageur Aviation Corp.
“We are very pleased to support DND on the modifications and sustainment of this unique training fleet, which is an important training component for Canada’s next generation of special mission operators, helping to ensure Canada’s interests domestically and abroad.”