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Fixed-Wing Search And Rescue Aircraft Replacement Project

Project Type

Project Replace


The objective of the FWSAR project is to replace the legacy Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (SAR) fleets of CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules aircraft by acquiring new, sensor-equipped aircraft with long-term in-service support, to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces continues to provide an effective response to SAR incidents anywhere in the Canadian Area of Responsibility.


The Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) fleet will have the capability to respond to aeronautical or maritime search and rescue incidents anywhere within the designated Canadian search and rescue area of responsibility, in all weather conditions. It will provide life-saving assistance through the aerial delivery of fully equipped search and rescue technicians and/or equipment. It will have the capability to conduct electronic and visual searches in any terrain, day or night, leveraging multi-spectral sensors.

In 2016, a single contract for $2.4B was awarded to Airbus Defence and Space for 6 years of acquisition followed by five years of in-service support. The contract also includes the opportunity for the company to earn contract extensions for in-service support in increments of 1 to 3 years, up to an additional 15 years (to 2042) for a total value of $4.7B. In October 2020 through a contract amendment, Canada exercised the first option year of in-service support, leaving 14 years remaining.

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Funding Range

$1 billion to $4.99 billion

Anticipated Timeline (Fiscal Year)

Options Analysis Phase
Definition Phase
Implementation Phase
In Progress
Initial Delivery
Final Delivery

Defence Capability Areas

Defence Capability Investment Areas

Key Industrial Capabilities

Not applicable.

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