The new CC-295 is based on the proven C295 twin engine with a number of modifications.
Specifically designed to perform search and rescue missions across Canada, the aircraft is equipped with integrated sensors that will allow crews to locate persons or objects from more than 40 kilometers away, even in low-light conditions. Its communications systems will increase interoperability with other search and rescue assets, such as the CH-149 Cormorant. The fleet of 16 aircraft will be replacing the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules fleets in their search and rescue role at four locations across Canada, and represents a value of $2.4 billion.
The aircraft received earlier this month will remain at 19 Wing Comox while the RCAF completes aircrew training, followed by operational testing. During the transition period and while the CC-295 Kingfisher is being operationalized, fixed-wing search and rescue services will continue through existing fleets, along with the CH-149 Cormorant and CH-146 Griffon helicopters.
The delivery of this aircraft marks an exciting new chapter in Canada’s long and proud search and rescue history, and this project has created hundreds of new jobs for Canadians. The CC-295 contractor, Airbus Defence and Space, continues to make investments into the Canadian aerospace and defence industry through the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy. Strategic work packages directly related to the aircraft are providing Canadian companies the opportunity to participate in global supply chains and creating high-value jobs.
Regarding mission systems, the Kingfisher has been equipped with the proven Full Integrated Tactical System (FITS), which integrates, controls and manages the information provided by the various sensors of the aircraft. The CC-295 sensor suite is composed of the following elements:
– Multi-mode search radar that allows the detection, location, classification and tracking of targets on the surface. Its maximum range is about 370 kilometers (64 km for smaller boats or life rafts). It is housed in a reinforced radome in the ventral section, allowing operation from unprepared runways.
– Electro-optical / IR multispectral system L3 WESCAM MX-15, which allows the visual acquisition of objectives in adverse conditions, day and night.
– Automatic Identification System (AIS) which provides the ability to identify and locate ships, aircraft, land bases and navigation aids equipped with AIS transponders.
– Two mission consoles in the cargo section, which are used to control radar, EO / IR system.