Wings Magazine

Aviation partners sign letter of intent for SAR solution

May 30, 2012, Ottawa - Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America and Canada, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace, and DRS Canada today announced the signing of a Letter of Intent to partner on a proposal for a Canadian Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) solution.

May 30, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The companies are finalizing the terms and conditions of the partnership and will work towards a more definitive agreement in the coming months.

The partnership is being formed in response to the Department of National Defence (DND) plan to acquire a new FWSAR capability to replace the aging fleet of FWSAR aircraft. Selection of the new capability will be conducted through a competitive process, with a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) expected in the fall of 2012, and contractor selection projected for 2014.

Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J Spartan is the most capable, cost effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today. Canada’s requirements make the C-27J the perfect fit for their FWSAR needs. The aircraft can operate in harsh environments and across vast terrains and can provide the speed necessary to reach those in need quickly.

“The search and rescue teams need an aircraft they can count on no matter the conditions or distance. The C-27J is well suited to some of Canada’s harshest terrain where it will often be called into duty. The characteristics that made the C-27J the right solution for ten other national air forces will prove critical in Canada’s selection process as well,” said Alan Calegari, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi North America. “We are looking forward to working with our outstanding Canadian partners on this procurement.”


With Alenia Aermacchi’s C-27J, General Dynamics Canada’s experience in performance-based in-service support on aircraft, and Provincial Aerospace's search and rescue experience and international reputation as a special mission aircraft modification, integration, operations and MRO organization, this team offers Canada the very best aircraft for FWSAR with a strong Canadian presence. The long-term engineering and maintenance support of the fleet, and the resulting long-term, well-paying jobs across the country will make this partnership an outstanding economic stimulus for Canada’s aerospace sector.

“This team represents the best capabilities in Canadian industry, combined with the most capable aircraft in the competition,” says David Ibbetson, General Manager, General Dynamics Canada. “We are excited to be part of such a strong team, supporting Alenia’s C-27J for the FWSAR program. We are committed to providing RCAF air crews and SAR techs with the very best search and rescue capability in the world for decades to come.”

According to Brian Chafe, Provincial Aerospace’s Chief Operating Officer, “Our company has been supporting the Department of National Defence airborne surveillance mandate in Canada's challenging maritime environment for some 25 years. We know the demands of Canada's oceans, Arctic areas and rugged terrain first hand. The C-27J is the right aircraft for the job and the FWSAR procurement will result in an economic enabler with no parallel by creating domestic and international opportunities for companies to become part of Alenia's global supply chain.”

Steve Zuber, vice president and general manager of DRS Canada said, “DRS Canada is very excited to be a partner on the Alenia C27J team, and we look forward to expanding our significant presence in Canada into a strong relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force.”


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