Fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft replacement
Explore the fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft replacement project.
On this page
- Project at a glance
- Project description
- Contract details
- Procurement progress and engagement
- Related links
Project at a glance
- Acquiring the next generation of search and rescue planes and opening a new training facility in Comox, British Columbia
- Contract value
- $2.4 billion
- 16 CC-295 aircraft equipped with advanced technology systems
- Infrastructure and set-up activities
- Construction of a new simulator-equipped training centre in Comox, British Columbia
- Maintenance and support services
- Tools and test equipment, spare parts, and access to technical data
- Aircraft 2 and 3 accepted in Spain on July 31, 2020
- Next steps
- Ferry flight of the first aircraft to Comox, British Columbia, in fall 2020
- Training and operational testing in Canada, starting in fall 2020
- Opening the new training facility at 19 Wing, Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia, in 2020
The Government of Canada purchased 16 CC-295 aircraft equipped with advanced technology systems to support search and rescue operations. The aircraft will be based in:
- Comox, British Columbia
- Winnipeg, Manitoba
- Trenton, Ontario
- Greenwood, Nova Scotia
These aircraft are replacing the current fleet of CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules, which have served Canada well over the last 20 to 40 years. They perform over 350 missions annually and are responsible for saving the lives of thousands of Canadians each year.
The new fleet will gradually take over search and rescue missions after the first few are delivered. The existing CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules fleets will be retired during this period.
The project also includes the construction of a new simulator-equipped training centre. In 2017, construction began on the training facility at 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia.
The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this procurement, requiring the winning supplier to place investments in Canada equal to the value of the contracts. Airbus Defence and Space continues to develop strategic relationships with Canada's world-leading aerospace and defence firms and will undertake business activities in Canada equal to the contract value.
Repair and overhaul work, maintenance and training for the aircraft will be performed in Canada, which is expected to create significant high-value jobs for Canadians.
- Date awarded: December 1, 2016
- Awarded to: Airbus Defence and Space
- Initial period: 11 years valued at $2.4 billion (plus applicable taxes) and includes:
- 6 years of acquisition covering aircraft delivery and set-up of support systems
- 5 years of maintenance and support
- Contract extensions: Opportunity to earn extensions for the maintenance and support of the aircraft in increments of 1 to 3 years, for an additional 15 years
- This could potentially extend the maintenance and support services until the end of 2042, for a total of $4.7 billion (plus applicable taxes)
- Financial incentives and disincentives: Range from an additional 2% bonus up to a 10% penalty if the company’s performance is not in accordance with the contract
- Acquisition of aircraft and delivery of support systems: Basis of payment is fixed-price with an established schedule of payments, providing a strong incentive for the company to deliver on time
- Payment will only be made after milestones have been met and accepted by the Government of Canada, as set out in the contract
- Ongoing maintenance and support: The company will be paid a combination of fixed annual rates and fixed rates per flying hour
Procurement progress and engagement
Learn about the progress of and engagement involved in the procurement.
Canadian aerospace industry was consulted on a procurement strategy through an industry day.
- Industry and the Government of Canada discussed the relationship between original equipment manufacturers and Canadian support service providers through an industry workshop
- Ongoing industry engagement resulted in project updates to industrial and technological benefits and aircraft maintenance and support operation requirements
2013 and 2014
- A draft Request for Proposals (RFP) was released to aerospace industry for feedback
- One-on-one-meetings between the Government of Canada and industry were held to discuss topics related to the draft RFP
- A source list of potential bidders was established
- The Government of Canada delivered a training session to potential bidders on airworthiness requirements
- Ongoing industry engagement, including one-on-one workshops with aerospace industry
Final RFP was shared with potential bidders.
- The RFP closed
- Bids were evaluated, and proposed aircraft were tested at the manufacturer’s facilities
- A contract was awarded to Airbus Defence and Space, partnered with PAL Aerospace, to deliver maintenance and support work in Canada
2019 and beyond
First aircraft accepted in Spain on December 18, 2019
- 2 industry days with more than 200 participants
- 7 multi-day one-on-one meetings with each industry team
- 2 site visits for industry of the 4 main operating bases and 1 tour of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre
- Workshops and training sessions
- 30 Letters of Interest over 3 years, with 176 formal responses from industry
- National Defence: Fixed-wing search and rescue procurement project
- Royal Canadian Air Force: Search and rescue
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: Fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft—Acquisition
- Contact defence procurement
- Media relations contacts
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