Airbus Defence and Space reported that the first of its Airbus C295W aircraft intended for the Brazilian Air Force has made a successful maiden flight.

The C295W, specifically configured for search and rescue missions for the Brazilian Air Force, is very similar to the C295W which Airbus is proposing for Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) program. Both aircraft are fitted with similar mission systems, the third generation of Airbus’ fully integrated tactical system (FITS).

The Royal Canadian Airforce’s (RCAF) intends to replace the air force’s remaining fleet of six De Havilland CC-115 Buffalos and relieve air force’s CC-130 Hercules fleet of its SAR duties. Airbus  has partnered with Provincial Aerospace Ltd. of Newfoundland in its bid for the $3.1 billion FWSAR contract.

The C295W planes that the Brazilian Air Force ordered will join the country’s existing fleet of transport-configured C295s.


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“This repeat order reflects Brazil’s high level of confidence in the C295W and further confirms the demonstrated excellence of this aircraft in an SAR role,” said Simon Jacques, president Airbus Defence and Space Canada.

All C295Ws sold worldwide feature substantial Canadian content. Pratt & Whitney Canada provides the C295W’s engines.

Pratt & Whitney Canada provides the C295W’s engines, CAE provides flight simulators and training systems, and L-3 WESCAM provides advanced electro-optical systems. In addition, in the FWSAR role for Canada, PAL Aerospace will provide in-service support for Canada’s SAR C295Ws in partnership with Airbus.

Airbus has sold 168 C295s and C295Ws in 23 countries, and the aircraft is operating around the world in a variety of configurations, including maritime patrol, anti-submarine, and search and rescue.

“We are confident the C295W will meet Canada’s demanding SAR requirements, and that our proposal for the FWSAR project provides the most long-term benefits and international opportunities to Canadian industry,” said Jacques.