Ottawa, Canada, 8 December 2016 — The Government of Canada announced that it had selected the Airbus C295W for its Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Programme. As part of the lingering FWSAR programme, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will get sixteen C295Ws modified for Search and Rescue (SAR) duties. They will replace the remaining (almost 50-year old) eight operational de Havilland-Canada CC-115 Buffalos operated in the SAR role by No. 442 Squadron at CFB Comox, British Columbia, since 1975.
Simon Jacques, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Canada said: “We are acutely conscious of the importance of search and rescue in Canada’s vast and challenging territory and we are honoured to have been selected to provide the aircraft and service to ensure that the role is carried out effectively.”
The C295W will feature substantial Canadian content. Every C295 is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, pilots will be trained at a new facility developed by CAE, and the electro-optical systems for FWSAR will be provided by L3 Wescam. In-Service Support for the life of the programme will be provided by AirPro, a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and PAL Aerospace. In-service support will be conducted by Canadians in Canada. Jacques added: “About 20 percent of the aircraft is already Canadian, meaning that it already serves as a global ambassador for the skills, innovation and expertise of Canadians. Now it will get to serve them directly.”
Canada’s C295Ws will be delivered starting three years after contract award. In service, they will join five other Airbus aircraft: the CC-150 Polaris (A310) aircraft used in the air-to-air refueling, transport, and VIP travel roles by the RCAF. When the contract is finalised, a total of 185 C295s will have been ordered by 25 countries from Airbus and CASA.