Fixed Wing Search and Rescue: Alenia’s C-27J to be Missionized in Canada

September 6, 2012 | News Release


Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 6, 2012 - Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America and its Canadian partners, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace and DRS Canada are pleased to announce that their C‐27J Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) configuration will include a Canadian mission system.  By partnering with well‐established Canadian companies and committing to a Canadian mission system, Alenia Aermacchi resolves to make the C‐27J Spartan the most suitable search and rescue platform available for Canada's FWSAR mission.  The C‐27J team will develop a SAR platform focused on Canada's requirements, including the mission system, which will be designed and integrated in Canada, delivering economic impact and efficiency.  Furthermore, Alenia will work closely with the Canadian government, Canadian partners and vendors to assure the necessary technology transfer so Canadian firms have the technological capability to support the C‐27J FWSAR solution in Canada, for the life of the program. Completing this work in Canada maximizes Canadian participation in the program and creates opportunities for Canadian industry to market similar solutions around the world.

The mission system, which includes high tech sensors and the computers that manage them, will greatly increase search and rescue crews' ability to detect Canadians in need, such as mariners in life rafts or lost hikers in the mountains.

"The mission system will add significant search capability to the C‐27J. Five years from now, we'll wonder how we ever managed search and rescue missions without it," said David Ibbetson, General Manager of General Dynamics Canada. "Eastern Canadian companies are a strong part of the C‐27J team.  The program represents a great opportunity for Eastern Canada and our country as a whole; announcing our plans to missionize the aircraft in Canada, while here at DEFSEC, seems appropriate."

In May, Alenia Aermacchi, Alenia Aermacchi North America, General Dynamics Canada, Provincial Aerospace and DRS Canada signed a Letter of Intent to partner on a proposal for a Canadian FWSAR solution.  Since that time the team has been working to develop the best path forward. In addition to its decision to missionize the C‐27J in Canada, the team looks forward to the time when it can announce new teaming decisions and its plans to drive superior economic benefits to all parts of Canada, coast‐to‐ coast‐ to‐coast.

"After visiting our partners' facilities in Ottawa, ON, Halifax, NS and St. John's, NL, I am more confident than ever that the C‐27J team is capable of producing a search and rescue platform that Canadians can be proud of - a platform that is not only tailored for Canada, leveraging world class Canadian technology, but one that helps build the Canadian economy through continued investment in technology, infrastructure and workforce," said Alan Calegari, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi North America.

The C‐27J Spartan is the most capable, cost effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today. The C‐27J is a twin‐engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with state‐of‐the‐art technology in avionics, propulsion and systems, resulting in a high performance, cost effective and extremely flexible aircraft. The aircraft can operate in the harshest environments and over vast terrain and can provide the speed necessary to reach those in need, when time is short. The C‐27J is a perfect fit for Canada's FWSAR needs.

"Provincial Aerospace has been performing airborne surveillance missions in Canada for more than 30 years, flying over 155,000 hours and completing 22,000 incident‐free missions," said Mr. Keith Stoodley, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Provincial Aerospace. "We are intimately familiar with the demands of Canada's oceans, arctic areas, and rugged terrain and we are confident that the C‐27J Spartan is the best suited aircraft for Canada's SAR needs. No other company in the world has the operational experience that we bring to the table and when combined with the team's missionization experience, the FWSAR procurement process presents exceptional domestic and international opportunities for Canadian industry."

As the program evolves, the C‐27J team believes Canada's approach to FWSAR is appropriate and practical. For example, when it comes to having a single point of accountability, the C‐27J team is committed to having one entity responsible for all program performance, with others, including Canadian defence and aerospace companies responsible for fully supporting the aircraft for the life of the program. The C‐27J team looks forward to the release of the draft Request for Proposal and the continued advancement of the project.

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Alenia Aermacchi North America, Inc.

Alenia Aermacchi North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Alenia Aermacchi (a Finmeccanica Company). Its mission is to further expand the industrial and commercial presence of Alenia Aermacchi in North America. Alenia Aermacchi North America Inc. is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices in Seattle, Washington; Fort Worth, Texas and Smyrna, Georgia. Alenia North America ‐ Canada, a subsidiary wholly owned by Alenia Aermacchi North America, has offices in Ottawa, Canada. The C‐27J is the world leader in the twin engine military tactical aircraft market and has been sold to the U.S., Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, Mexico, and Australia. Other Alenia Aermacchi North America products include the G222 tactical transport aircraft, currently in delivery to the Afghanistan Air Force, and the T‐100, a variant of the M‐346 Advanced Jet Trainer and Light Attack aircraft (produced by parent company Alenia Aermacchi), both of which are currently competing in the U.S. market.

General Dynamics Canada  

With an established Canadian presence for more than 60 years with employees in Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax, General Dynamics Canada is Canada's largest defence electronics company with a worldwide reputation for excellence in the production of leading‐edge, technology‐based, integrated solutions for land, airborne and maritime applications. The company's success is based on strong systems engineering experience, ongoing investment in research and development, collaboration with commercial and military systems industry leaders, and a singular focus on customer service.  The company's portfolio of next‐generation Command, Control,   Communication, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions and integrated mission systems is backed by complete systems integration and in‐service support. General Dynamics Canada is part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). More information about the company is available at www.gdcanada.com.

DRS Canada

DRS Technologies Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of DRS Technologies Inc. is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica S.p.A. which employs approximately 70,000 people worldwide. DRS Technologies Canada designs, manufactures and supports a broad range of military communications, electro‐optics, surveillance, and sensor signal processing systems for naval and ground applications as well as electronic warfare threat simulation and training systems ranging from computer‐based training to high‐power threat simulators. The company also designs, manufactures and supports ruggedized and full MIL‐SPEC high‐performance static power conversion equipment and other power management systems for ground‐based, shipboard and airborne communications and weapons platforms. DRS Technologies Canada is also an experienced provider of turnkey state‐of‐the‐art electronics manufacturing, integration and test services for various aerospace, defence and space applications.

Provincial Aerospace

Provincial Aerospace is a global leader in aerospace and defence, providing highly tailored airborne and maritime surveillance solutions: from custom aircraft design and modification, to mission system design and integration, to mission operations, training and support. PAL has been operating surveillance aircraft on behalf of world governments for over 25 years.  In that time more than 25,000 incident free missions have been flown logging over 150,000 flight hours. PAL operates a fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft on behalf of the Government of Canada which fly off the east and west coasts supporting enforcement of Canada's laws and international treaties. PAL also operates a fleet of maritime surveillance aircraft on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Navy. These aircraft provide aerial surveillance in support of search and rescue and law enforcement activities in the southern Caribbean Sea. PAL is a proven national and international ISS provider to customers as diverse as the US State Department; The Barbados based Regional Security Service (RSS), the Trinidad & Tobago Air Guard (TTAG) and the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. PAL provides a proven tactical management system (ADAM) to national (DND) and international clients.

For more information, contact:   

Jim Meltsner, Alenia Aermacchi North America, 202‐688‐4918 or jmeltsner@aleniainc.com

A General Dynamics Business