One of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council’s newest members, Bombardier, is well-known as a world leader in the aircraft manufacturing sector. Bombardier Defense’s Director of Sales for the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Scott Carden, gave the Council his thoughts on the history of the company, its latest innovations, and its strategy for the evolving Saudi aviation and defense sectors.
Bombardier is a world leading manufacturer of business aircraft with a global network of service centers. We masterfully design private jets and make it happen through an extensive portfolio of innovative products. Every day our planes move thousands of people around the globe – quickly, safely, and efficiently.
Joseph Armand Bombardier founded the company in 1942 based on his invention of the snow mobile. Over the next 40 years the company grew into a transportation conglomerate that in 1986 ventured into the aerospace industry. Through the acquisition of Canadian companies Canada Air and De Havilland, Irish firm Shorts Brothers, and the American firm and world’s first business jet manufacturer Lear Jet, the company grew rapidly. Built on the strength and legacy of these aviation industry stalwarts, Bombardier is now focused solely on aviation and the goal of producing the world’s finest business aircraft.
There are over 500 Bombardier missionized aircraft in service today. Due to the success of this growing segment, in 2022 Bombardier launched Bombardier Defense. Based in Wichita, Kansas, this latest addition to the company is dedicated to producing missionized aircraft that meet the needs of some of the most demanding customers in the world. Bombardier Defense aircraft are custom tailored to execute an array of missions to include surveillance, medevac, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C), electronic warfare (EW), signals intelligence (SIGINT), search and rescue (SAR), maritime surveillance and patrol (MPA), and head of state with self-protection systems.
Bombardier aircraft serve as platforms that offer best-in-class speed, range, endurance, and payload capability. They serve as the base aircraft for advanced missionized programs around the world to include ongoing programs in the UAE, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, and the United States. Most of these countries have opted to use the Global 6500 airplane. The aircraft has room for 10 workstations, the power and space to accommodate a range of antennas and sensors, can fly at altitudes up to 51,000 feet above sea level, and can remain airborne for over 18 hours.
Bombardier is already hard at work redefining the future of business aviation. In the near-term Bombardier will launch the Global 8000 in late 2024. The aircraft can fly distances exceeding 8,000 nautical miles while cruising at a speed approaching the speed of sound. The aircraft broke the sound barrier in testing and flies at a high-speed cruise of Mach .94 – the fastest in the industry. Looking beyond that, Bombardier is already working on a ground-breaking new design for its next generation of aircraft known as the Ecojet. The aircraft will incorporate a blended wing design that will greatly enhance the aircraft’s capabilities while significantly reducing its carbon footprint. Many of the design elements that will make the aircraft a cutting-edge business machine also stand to set it apart in the missionized space.
Bombardier Defense looks forward to working with Saudi customers to find optimal solutions to their mission needs. Bombardier Defense looks to do this through partnership and close collaboration at facilities throughout Saudi Arabia, using Saudi engineering talent and labor. While Saudi Arabian executives have been flying on Bombardier’s business jets for decades, Bombardier Defense is excited to bring its missionized aircraft and unique capabilities to the Kingdom.