The Government of Canada is equipping the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with the modern and effective aircraft it needs to continue its critical life-saving search and rescue missions across Canada’s vast and challenging territory. The RCAF marked the arrival of the first aircraft of its future fixed-wing search and rescue fleet. The new fleet will be called Kingfisher. Within the First Nations of the Northwest, the kingfisher has long been recognized for its speed and agility, as well as its keen searching and hunting skills. Found all across Canada, the kingfisher well represents the abilities of the RCAF search and rescue crews to accomplish their lifesaving role.
The first Airbus C295 aircraft, purchased by the Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) project, has arrived at 19 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Comox, in British Columbia, Canada. The aircraft, designated CC-295 for the Canadian customer, landed at its home base on September 17th and is the first of the 16 aircraft contracted in December 2016. The contract also includes all In-Service Support elements, training and engineering services, the construction of a new training centre in Comox, British Columbia, and maintenance and support services.
“Airbus is really proud to be able to celebrate this important milestone: the arrival of the first out of 16 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue C295 at the Canadian Forces Base Comox. Thanks to the excellent collaboration with Canadian officials we have overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 and we were able to deliver the aircraft. Despite the current pandemic, we are confident of achieving the program target of six deliveries by the end of this year. We look forward to our continued collaboration and to the C295 Canada”, said Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer, Dirk Hoke, on a video statement displayed during an official event held today at the 19 Wing Comox Air Base.
Specifically designed to perform search and rescue missions across Canada, the aircraft is equipped with integrated sensors that will allow crews to locate persons or objects from more than 40 km away. Its communications systems will increase interoperability with other search and rescue assets, such as the CH-149 Cormorant. The fleet of 16 aircraft will be replacing the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules fleets in their search and rescue role at four locations across Canada, and represents a value of $2.4 billion. During the transition period and while the CC-295 Kingfisher is being operationalized, fixed-wing search and rescue services will continue through existing fleets.