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A C-295 aircraft built for the RCAF. (Airbus photo)
The first of the new fixed wing search and rescue aircraft that will be used by the RCAF for operations has arrived in Canada. The aircraft landed in Newfoundland and is now making its way to Canadian Forces Base Comox, BC.
“With the arrival of this aircraft in Canada, several key activities at CFB Comox will begin to support the transition of the Canadian fixed-wing search and rescue responsibility to the CC-295,” the RCAF noted in a statement to this newspaper. “This includes the start of aircrew training, operational testing, and the opening of the new training facility in Comox, B.C.”
Each aircraft must complete initial operational capability preparations and testing to be ready for service. That also includes training so crews can operate and maintain the new planes. The aircraft won’t be used for search and rescue operations until sometime in 2022, according to the RCAF.
Briggs Aero sent out a photo on Twitter of the new aircraft arriving in Newfoundland on Wednesday.
Airbus expects all of the 16 aircraft ordered by Canada to be delivered by the fall of 2022.
A C-295 aircraft, destined for the RCAF as a trainer for maintenance crews, arrived at CFB Comox in February.
Although almost identical to a C-295, that aircraft does not have nor need the full mission equipment capability to conduct search and rescue missions, Esprit de Corps military magazine has reported. It is not one of the 16 C-295 aircraft being procured under the fixed wing search and rescue project. Instead, it is considered an additional asset that is part of the training solution. “It will be used to train maintenance technicians on rigging, removal and reinstallation procedures,” explained National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier. “Therefore, not all components need to be operationally functional and can instead be less expensive replicas.”
It will be registered as a training asset, not an aircraft.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020