An initial two firms – Alenia Aermacchi and Airbus Defence & Space – have confirmed their participation in Canada’s nascent fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) contest, and could soon be joined by Brazil’s Embraer, after it indicated that was giving serious consideration to bidding.

Ottawa published a request for proposals in late March for the contest, which seeks to procure replacements for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s aged fleets of six de Havilland Canada CC-115 Buffalos and 13 Lockheed Martin CC-130H Hercules.

So far, Alenia and Airbus have indicated their intention to bid, offering the C-27J and C295, respectively. Lockheed is also likely to offer the HC-130J, a variant of the current-generation Hercules already operated by Canada for tactical transport missions.


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But Embraer is also contemplating pitching its developmental jet-powered KC-390. “We have received [the RFP] and we are analysing very seriously [whether] to be part of the process,” says Jackson Schneider, chief executive of Embraer Defence and Security. “We will have a very attractive offer.”

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