The search for a new fixed-wing SAR aircraft for the RCAF has been delayed again... this time at the request of the 'industry' who asked for more time to prepare their bids.
The RCAF has been looking to replace its fixed-wing Buffalo aircraft, which were purchased in 1967, since 2004. The bidding process has been started and postponed several since since then. Bids we originally due September 28, 2015, with a contract to be awarded at some point in 2016, and deliveries taking place by 2023.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, the RCAF have extended the bidding process to January 11, 2016 at the request of the industry. The RCAF did not say which companies have asked for the extension. Earlier this year Lockheed-Martin was concerned their C-130J Super Hercules was too large to fit the requirements of the RCAF FWSAR program, and considered not bidding - so perhaps the extension is being granted for Lockheed-Martin if they choose to bid anyway. Boeing-Bell have announced that they will not bid with the V-22 Osprey, even though they believe it is the best suited for SAR.
Several companies have been interested in the contract, and have been ready for several years, just waiting for an opportunity to bid. To see which companies are expected to bid, please see my original post when the bidding process was re-opened earlier this year. RCAF Hopeful for New SAR