Meeting major search and rescue challenges

Look at it on a globe.

The vast Canadian landscape is daunting. Huge swaths of empty forest and lakes stretching north to scattered, frozen islands in the Arctic, and ultimately to the top of the world.

The Hudson Bay, the giant island of Baffin in the east, and the Yukon Territory in the west. And if that is not challenging enough, the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia comprise much of the most rugged and forbidding high country in North America.

Canada is an imposing challenge for search and rescue operations but certainly one within the realm of modern aircraft and well-trained crews.

If the C-27J Spartan is chosen to become the nation’s next fixed-wing search-and-rescue (FWSAR) aircraft, the mission of Team Spartan will be to make the SAR mission challenge much more manageable.

As a team member of the Team Spartan, DRS Technologies Canada will bring the training system solution for the new FWSAR aircraft and its advanced onboard systems and equipment.

C27 J infographic

(Click on the image to enlarge infographic or download pdf)

The DRS-led training systems team would also build a training center in Comox, British Columbia.

DRS has developed an integrated solution that combines elements from established suppliers across Canada for the training of all FWSAR aircrew members and maintenance personnel.

The Comox location on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island is considered ideal because of its proximity to nearby mountain ranges as well as other government and military training centres that will play a key role in the training initiative.

The DRS solution combines top-tier training elements from established suppliers located across Canada. They include Bluedrop Training and Simulation of Halifax and TRU Simulation + Training of Montreal. Bluedrop would supply sophisticated courseware to meet the design requirements established by DRS and TRU would design and deliver training devices, including a full-flight simulator.

ATCO Structures and Logistics, Calgary, another member of the Spartan team, would design, build and maintain the training centre.

DRS also would design and build an operational mission simulator, a sensor station simulator, and a mission procedures trainer.

A virtual maintenance trainer would be built by Leonardo Aircraft (formerly known as Alenia Aermacchi), another subsidiary of Leonardo and the manufacturer of the C-27J Spartan. The training devices would be based on a common architecture, which would support the maximum re-use of the software simulated, optimizing the in-service support and minimizing costs due to configuration changes.

“Our plan to partner with respected and experienced Canadian companies will provide exceptional, state-of-the-art training support for the Royal Canadian Air Force aircrews and maintenance personnel,” said Steve Zuber, vice president and general manager of DRS Technologies Canada, Ltd.

A rugged and maneuverable multi-mission aircraft, the Spartan offers some of the most up-to-date features available in aviation today. It can transport troops and cargo; airdrop paratroopers, equipment and material; and carry out medical evacuations and special missions. Designed for short takeoffs and landings, the Spartan could use a wide range of airfields, including truncated and unprepared Arctic strips that lack support equipment.

The DRS proposal includes a commitment to deliver 100 per cent of contract value industrial offsets and benefits in the form of long-term jobs and far-reaching investments in Canadian firms and technology.

“We look forward to the chance of providing the Royal Canadian Air Force a training solution with the same high-quality level the service is used to getting from DRS. This is a vital mission for Canada and we are bringing together the best Canadian companies to ensure mission success,” Zuber said.

If the C-27J is selected, Team Spartan will manage the integrated logistic support for the aircraft through Spartan Aviation Services, a joint venture company led by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada and Leonardo Aircraft, and headquartered in Ottawa, Ont. It will be the Canadian in-service support integrator for the aircraft. In addition to overseeing all of the training system operations, Spartan

Aviation Services will have the support of a strong Canadian partner network across the country, including General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada as the mission systems integrator; IMP Aerospace, which will modify the “green” aircraft delivered by Leonardo Aircraft; KF Aerospace, the MR&O provider; Rolls-Royce Canada; Standard Aero; CAE; Esterline CMC Electronics; L-3 WESCAM; Flyht Aerospace Solutions; Airdyne Aerospace; and ATCO Frontec.

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