Kelowna Flightcraft has joined the team bidding the C-27J Spartan for Canada’s fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft program.

The British Columbia-based company, which has heavy maintenance facilities and support shops in Kelowna and Hamilton, Ontario, will join Team Spartan, led by Alenia Aermacchi and consisting of General Dynamics Canada and DRS Technologies Canada.

Kelowna Flightcraft will work with the team’s ISS integrator, GDC, to provide long-term maintenance, repair and overhaul as well as engineering and supply chain support services.

The company has a history of structural and component repair, overhaul, engineering, technical investigations, and modifications for Royal Canadian Air Force fleets such as the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-138 Twin Otter.

“Kelowna Flightcraft is an invaluable addition to our already strong Canadian FWSAR team,” said Ben Stone, president and chief executive officer of Alenia Aermacchi’s North American business unit. “This is a company that understands the dedication required to maintain search and rescue assets. Kelowna Flightcraft has a history of supporting RCAF aircraft and is committed to providing the high level of service required by a critical capability like SAR. We look forward to announcing more Canadian partnerships as we get closer to the release of Canada’s FWSAR Request for Proposal.”

Although an RFP has yet to be issued, Public Works and Government Services Canada last week released the source list of companies that responded to a request to identify interested bidders. The five likely candidates are Airbus Defense and Space, Alenia Aermacchi, Bell-Boeing, Embraer Defense and Security and Lockheed Martin.

The C-27J is currently used by 12 countries for a variety of roles in all types of terrain and weather conditions. Although not traditionally seen as a primary SAR solution, the U.S. Coast Guard recently acquired 14 Spartans as part of a SAR fleet recapitalization. Peru has also recently selected the C-27J for a variety of missions, including search and rescue.