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Oct 17

Here’s a twist:

Canada might change course, purchase two types of search-and-rescue aircraft instead of one

My WAG: The RCAF ends up with some Viking Air new-build Buffalos plus more C-130Js. That way a plucky little Canadian company does well (good politics, esp. in B.C.) and the CF gets more search and rescue planes that are also very capable tactical transports, a long-time unspoken desideratum. Plus fleet commonality is maintained, a cost-reduction angle that could be touted despite the fact that Jercs would be the most expensive of all the potential contenders.

See this post for more information on those contenders, plus a discussion towards the end of the tactical transport aspect:

Fixed-Wing SAR Aircraft: Who Needs a Competition Anyway When Your Mind is Made Up?

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

5 Responses to “Mark Collins - Fixed-Wing SAR: A Tale of Two Tails?”

  1. MarkOttawa Says:

    One proposal:

    ‘Search and rescue base proposed for Yk
    Discovery Air partners with Airbus Military to make pitch to Canadian Forces

    Response times for search and rescue operations in the North could be drastically reduced under a new proposal that would add a Canadian Forces search and rescue aircraft base to Yellowknife.

    The long-awaited Northern search and rescue base is being proposed under a joint bid between Yellowknife-based speciality aviation company Discovery Air Inc. and manufacturer Airbus Military. The plan is to replace Canada’s aging fixed-wing search and rescue program fleet with three or four C295 military aircraft but see below].

    “Today, there are four bases in Canada that perform search and rescue, so if something happens in the North, somebody is dispatched from either Winnipeg or Trenton, Ont., to handle the North. From Discovery Air’s point of view, we think that we should be closer to the North,” said Brian Semkowski, president and CEO of Discovery Air, Wednesday at the Air Tindi hangar. “If we want to search and rescue somebody, we should be closer to where the action is happening. The people of Canada in the North deserve to have the same rights they do down south.”

    Within the next year, Canada’s fixed-wing search and rescue secretariat is slated to release a request for proposals to replace the search and rescue program’s aging CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130 Hercules aircraft…

    The federal government has been conducting industry consultations with potential bidders to discuss specifics of the 20-year fleet services contract.

    Discovery Air would provide the 20-year support package required for the Airbus Military C295s, under a memorandum of understanding signed by the two companies…’

    In fact Airbus and Discovery are trying to provide the whole fixed-wing SAR fleet:

    “Discovery Air teams with Airbus on search and rescue bid
    Companies will bid to replace Canada’s fixed-wing search and rescue fleet

    Discovery Air and Airbus Military announced Wednesday they’re teaming up to bid on a 20-year contract to provide and maintain Canada’s fixed-wing search and rescue fleet.

    Airbus Military manufactures military and civic transport aircraft.

    The two companies hope the contract would include setting up a search and rescue base in the North…

    Under the memorandum of understanding the companies have signed, Airbus will provide its C295 aircraft and Discovery Air will provide training, engineering and maintenance…

    The federal government wants to replace the 19 fixed-wing planes in its aging search and rescue fleet…”


    Mark Collins

  2. MarkOttawa Says:


    Canada’s $3B SAR Contest Wide Open

    The Canadian Forces has reversed its previous decision to operate only one type of aircraft for the new search-and-rescue fleet, opening up the 3 billion Canadian dollar ($3.06 billion) competition to new aircraft built in Canada, but also potentially to planes ranging from Lockheed Martin’s C-130J to Embraer’s KC-390…

    Kim Tulipan, a spokeswoman for the procurement branch of the Department of National Defence, said that after an independent review of the project, “the requirement was changed from one being based on the platform to one that is based on capability. As a result, industry will be required to propose the type of aircraft or fleet mix and in what quantity of aircraft, and where they will be based.”

    That change signals that the Royal Canadian Air Force has backed away from its insistence on purchasing only one fleet of aircraft, opening the door to a mixed fleet, aerospace industry officials said.

    The change would allow for a smaller aircraft to be purchased for operations in the mountainous western coast of the country, as well as in the Great Lakes region, they said. A larger aircraft also could be bought to cover the eastern coast and other regions…’

    I.e: Viking/New Buffalo for former, LockMart/C-130J for latter?

    Mark Collins

  3. MarkOttawa Says:

    Plus a DID round-up:

    “Rescue Required: Canada’s Search-And-Rescue Aircraft Program”

    Mark Collins

  4. MarkOttawa Says:

    Here’s the Public Works and Government Services Canada website:

    “Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) Aircraft Replacement Project”

    Mark Collins

  5. MarkOttawa Says:

    And the DND site:

    Mark Collins

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