The first Airbus C295, purchased by the
Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF)
Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) program,
has completed its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards
delivery by the end of 2019 to begin operational testing by the
contract, awarded in December 2016, includes 16 C295 aircraft and
all In-Service Support elements including, training and engineering services, the construction of a new Training Centre in Comox, British Columbia, and maintenance and support services.
The aircraft will be based where search and rescue squadrons
are currently located: Comox, British Columbia; Winnipeg,
Manitoba; Trenton, Ontario; and Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
The first RCAF crews
will begin training in late summer 2019 at Airbus’ International
Training Centre in Seville, Spain.
Considerable progress has been made since the FWSAR program was
announced two and a half years ago: the first aircraft has
commenced flight testing; another five aircraft are in various stages
of assembly; and seven simulator and training devices are in
various testing stages.