TABLE OF CONTENTS
- New Year; New FWSAR Aircraft
- C-27J FWSAR Program Update
- C-27J Visits the National Capital Region
- FWSAR and Team Spartan in the News
- International News
As we ring in 2016 and make our own personal resolutions, Team Spartan is resolved to deliver a new Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) fleet to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
In this first newsletter of 2016, we provide an update on Team Spartan’s bid to the Canadian FWSAR program; updates on recent and coming events; and updates from Team Spartan’s partners.
We look forward to working with Canada to deliver on the FWSAR program in 2016 and beyond. Although some people’s New Year’s resolutions are already broken, we remain committed to ours: Canada demands a modern, capable search and rescue aircraft without delay. Canada deserves the C-27J.
With the proposals submitted, our team is confident that we have offered the very best value to Canada. At this point, we can confidently state that the C-27J Spartan will deliver an affordable solution to the FWSAR program, and that the C-27J and Team Spartan’s proposal, exceeds expectations and is within reach for Canada.
Team Spartan’s proposal demonstrates that we meet the Crown’s requirements without compromising on:
- Existing Main Operation Bases (MOBs): There will be little to no impact on existing MOB infrastructure;
- Response times: The C-27J is the only aircraft in its class that is fast enough to respond to SAR incidents across Canada’s entire area of responsibility from the existing SAR bases;
- Crew comfort and effectiveness: A larger and wider cabin provides a safe and comfortable work environment for SAR; while 14 windows in the cockpit provide class leading visibility for its pilots;
- A strong Canadian team: Team Spartan includes Canada’s leading industrial partners including: General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada, DRS Technologies, CAE, KF Aerospace, IMP Aerospace, TRU Simulation and Training, Bluedrop, ATCO, CMC Esterline, L3 Wescam and more.
As part of our proposal, we are also bringing industrial value to the Canadian market. The C-27J Spartan Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) and Value Proposition (VP) proposals maximize Canadian participation while minimizing project risk. They bring together skills and experience that complement each other while providing the highest quality of service to Canada.
On December 11, 2015, Team Spartan hosted a briefing to update media on the Team’s pursuit activities and the specialized capabilities of the C-27J FWSAR aircraft at the Ottawa’s Gatineau Executive Airport.
This briefing was unique in that the media was able to board a C-27J to witness first hand some of its superior capabilities, such as cabin height, its cargo handling system, APU, Auxiliary Power Unit that make the aircraft fully autonomus also in the most remote airstrips and adjustable floor height while also learning about specific FWSAR upgrades that will be delivered to Canada. This provided an opportunity for Canadian media to see this exceptional aircraft and fully appreciate how it exceeds expectations and is within reach for Canada.
This particular aircraft stopped in Canada en route to its delivery to the Peruvian Air Force, who will fly it in a multi-role capacity that includes Search and Rescue and Tactical Transport in the harsh conditions found in Peru’s Andes mountains.
Following the program update, Mr. Steve Lucas, and Finmeccanica Aircraft test pilots provided aircraft tours for the media. The participants enjoyed an Italian-Canadian themed lunch while watching the aircraft’s abundance of power on take-off. The event was hosted by Team Spartan and the Italian and Peruvian defence attachés.
As the FWSAR program comes to a close, Canadian media paid increased attention to the FWSAR competition and Team Spartan. Here are some highlights of media coverage featuring Team Spartan and the C-27J:
- Skies Magazine : Spartan visits Ottawa
- The Canadian Press: Long-delayed military search planes set to land on Liberal agenda in 2016
- Wing’s: FWSAR procurement going down to the wire
- Jane’s Defence: Alenia showcases C-27J in Canada as bidders line up for FWSAR
- Esprit de Corps: Photographs
In early 2016, look for articles and ads about the program in Skies Magazine, Esprit de Corps, Canadian Defence Review, and Vanguard Magazine.
RAAF Impressed by C-27J
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is really happy about their Spartans. Air Marshal Leo Davies, speaking at a pre-Dubai Airshow conference last November, said the twin-turboprop airlifter is the perfect complement to his now “balanced” air mobility fleet, as it unlocks access to smaller runways for irregular warfare, disaster relief and humanitarian missions. The RAAF is procuring 10 C-27Js, which will fill a void left by the retirement of Australia's de Havilland Canada DHC-4A Caribous in 2009.
Air Marshal Davies said he has been impressed by the “reach and strategic effect” of the current Lockheed Martin C-130J and Boeing C-17 combination, but the C-27J “is likely to be even more versatile in contingencies and irregular warfare”.
“Its ability to operate from austere and short runways makes the C-27 ideal for operations in remote and complex terrain, which is so often the setting for insurgent activity,” he said. “We can access a far greater number of airfields in our immediate neighbourhood to enhance its utility in humanitarian and disaster relief missions.
The C-27 will be able to reach isolated communities impacted by natural disasters, and do so swiftly. It can get food and medical supplies to more airfields closer to the problem.”
The experience of the RAAF bodes well for the Royal Canadian Air Force, as the roles for the C-27J in Canada, should it win the FWSAR program, would mean the aircraft would operate in austere environments and in complex terrain.
Special OPS South of the border: C-27J delivers excellence to the US Army Special Operations
Another happy customer of the Spartan is the USASOC Flight Company (UFC), a Special Operations US Army aviation unit, located at Pope Army Airfield on Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The UFC’s stable of aircraft includes the Finmeccanica Aircraft C-27J Spartan, CASA 212- 200, Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk and Beech C-12C Huron.
The C-27J Spartan is the newest addition to the UFC fleet. The UFC received its first C-27J in 2013 and the seventh and last Spartan in September 2014.
They are used to drop Special Forces paratroopers, perform miscellaneous logistic missions, and any other special operations duties if tasked. The C-27J is powered by the same engines found on the C-130J Hercules (plus the V-22 Osprey), the six-bladed Rolls-Royce AE 2100-D2A. It is equipped with weather radar and has a very long range, enabling it to fly non-stop across the country, depending on the cargo load.
The commander of the UFC aviation unit, Curtis Adams, a US Army Special Ops Officer, said to Aviation News magazine, in the December 2015 Issue: The C-27J has an excellent cockpit that was designed from the start for Night Vision Goggle (NVG) use. He flies both the C-12C and C-27J with the UFC.
“The C-27J is a great aircraft to fly and getting the aircraft here was the product of an incredible move by a small dedicated, caring and persistent group of individuals,” … “The C-27 is a terrific NVG-compatible aircraft, and has an excellent cockpit that was designed from the start for NVG use. The phased array radar works very well in it, even at the side angles.”