Thu, May 31, 2012
Several Contenders For Long-Delayed Contract
Canada’s government is moving ahead with plans for a $3.8 billion purchase of new fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft to replace older types. Following cabinet approval late last year, the government has set a new schedule that will issue a draft request for proposal in September, with final selection of the winning bidder or bidders expected in 2014. Treasury Board has granted first-phase approval of a budget of $3.8-billion, with $1.9-billion of that going to so-called 'in-service support' or maintenance.
The government now intends to hold an open competition, modeled on last fall's successful shipbuilding contract process. The likely front-running contenders are the Italy-based Alenia's C-27J, Airbus Military's C-295 and Lockheed-Martin's updated C-130J Transport. Viking Air's DHC-5 Buffalo and Bombardier's Q400 turboprop also have been mentioned as possible candidates.
The Postmedia News reports that the new bidding competition is to be run at arms'-length by bureaucrats, as was the much-lauded shipbuilding contract awards process. In contrast with previous go-rounds on the SAR contract, this one is intended to be performance-based. The government will state its needs, leaving it up to industry to offer a solution. In theory, any aircraft maker or combination of aircraft makers could win part or the entire contract.
There are two main contenders: Alenia's C-27J, and Airbus's C-295. Both are twin-engine craft designed for search-and-rescue and air-ambulance duties. Lockheed-Martin is expected to pitch its C-130J as an alternative, based on the argument that, though more expensive than the other two on a per-unit basis, it will be less costly to maintain because the RCAF already maintains a C-130J fleet. (File images top, C-27J, bottom C-295)
"(The) successful launch of the NROL-39 mission is a testament to the tremendous government-industry partnership. We greatly appreciate the teamwork with the NRO Office of Space La>[...]
Lost Communications Loss of the ability to communicate by radio. Aircraft are sometimes referred to as NORDO (No Radio). Standard pilot procedures are specified in 14 CFR Part 91. >[...]
Aero Linx: The Story Of World War 1 Aviation The Spark That Set the World Aflame: The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife i>[...]
A Powerful New Tool For You To Use For Your Aero-Conversations Want to start a conversation about a story you've seen on Aero-News? It's even easier with Disqus, a powerful, web-ba>[...]
NROL-39 Mission Boosted From Vandenberg AFB Thursday Night A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off >[...]