The Canadian Air Force has taken delivery of the first of 16 Airbus-built CC-295 that will take over the search and rescue duties currently being undertaken by six CC-115 Buffalo aircraft and 12 CC-130H Hercules aircraft.
The government will hold an official handover ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Comox in British Columbia on September 25. The delivery was expected to take place last year, but this was delayed due concerns over manuals for the planes.
Canada signed a C$2.4 billion contract with Airbus in 2016 that will cover maintenance and support services up to 2042. Airbus will also construct a new simulator-equipped training center in Comox, British Columbia, and provide ongoing maintenance and support services.
The new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft will carry out critical, life-saving search and rescue missions across Canada’s vast territory, including the Arctic.
Using integrated sensors, crews will be able to locate persons or objects—such as downed aircraft—from more than 40 kilometres away, even in low-light conditions. This will contribute to improving the overall effectiveness of searches. It is anticipated that the on-scene search time will be reduced with the use of these enhanced sensor capabilities.
The C295W features substantial Canadian content. Every C295 is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, while the electro-optical systems for FWSAR will be provided by L3 Wescam. In-service support for the life of the program will be provided by AirPro, a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and PAL Aerospace.