Prestwick, Scotland....BAE Systems has won a significant contract from Swiss International Air Lines to supply D-C cargo hold fire detection and suppression system modification kits for the conversion of the airline’s 20-strong fleet of Avro RJ jetliners.
Swiss has taken the decision to modify its aircraft ahead of a possible European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) mandated requirement. Both the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have mandated this upgrade and, as a result, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has in the past provided modification kits to airlines in these countries.
The fleet of BAe 146/Avro RJs operated by Cobham Aviation Services in Australia, as well as the original fleet of Avro RJs operated by Mesaba Airlines in the United States (now largely operating with CityJet in Ireland) have been converted. In addition, BAE Systems has supplied kits to TNT Express for the upgrading of their fleet of European-based BAe 146QT freighters.
The modification involves the installation of new piping with fire detection sensors from the nose to tail into the two cargo bays on the aircraft, together with the fitment of fire bottles in strategic locations. There is also a revised flight deck display to alert crew of a fire being detected and a switch panel in the overhead panel to allow them to deploy the fire suppression system.
Working with companies in its supply chain, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is managing the design, procurement, delivery and assembly of the modification kits for delivery to Swiss, along with a Service Bulletin. Swiss intends to implement the modification programme on a rolling basis across its entire fleet beginning in November this year. BAE Systems will provide on-site technical assistance to Swiss International Air Lines to assist with the introduction of the modification for the first few aircraft.