442 Squadron gets a hands-on look at new fixed wing search and rescue aircraft

A military member marshals in a large aircraft on the ramp at 19 Wing Comox.
An airbus C-295M from Brazil on the ramp at 19 Wing Comox.

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19 Wing Comox: The Totem Times

Members of 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron hosted a much anticipated guest on their ramp at 19 Wing Comox, B.C., in July: an Airbus C-295M crewed by the Brazilian Air Force and Airbus Defense and Space Test Aircrew.

Late last year the Government of Canada announced the procurement of 16 Airbus C-295W aircraft to replace the CC-115 Buffalo and the legacy CC-130H Hercules fleets as the new fixed wing search and rescue aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force. 19 Wing Comox is expecting five of the aircraft; delivery is scheduled for 2020.

“As you are probably aware, we’ve been flying the Buffalo for 50 years, so it’s nice to see something new on the ramp,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Bryn Elliott, commanding officer of 442 Squadron comments.

The new fixed wing search and rescue aircraft will carry out critical, life-saving search and rescue missions across Canada’s vast and challenging territory with increased reliability. They will be equipped with sophisticated sensors that should increase detection rates and potentially reduce search times.

Members of the Brazilian Air Force, the crew of the C-295M, personnel from Airbus, and Royal Canadian Air Force members representing the fixed with search and rescue team provided a static tour to 19 Wing Defence Team members on July 24, and invited the local media for a tour and briefing on the project.

“We had a really good show from 442 Squadron and the entire base at 19 Wing to come and look at it,” added LCol Elliott. “They are interested in seeing what the technology is, seeing how they will be employed because certain people will be doing different roles on this airplane.”

This was the first Canadian stop on a worldwide tour for the Brazilian Air Force’s Airbus C-295M, ultimately stopping in 25 countries that have ordered the aircraft.

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