Monday, January 11, 2016

FWSAR Eval to Take up to 6 Months

By: David Pugliese

Aerospace firms will submit their bids on Monday to provide Canada’s air force with a new fleet of search-and-rescue planes.

Aerospace companies will submit bids proposing a combination of aircraft and in-service support to replace the RCAF’s existing fleet of Buffalo and older Hercules aircraft used for search and rescue.

The Buffalos, first purchased in 1967, are key to search and rescue on the west coast and in parts of the Rockies. Those aircraft are already facing mechanical and technical problems and several years ago the air force had difficulty obtaining spare propellers.

The Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) aircraft project originally envisioned buying 17 planes. But that has been changed and it will be up to aerospace firms to submit in their bids the numbers of aircraft they believe are needed for Canada to handle the needed search and rescue capability.

Public Services and Procurement Canada hasn’t provided a timeline for when the new aircraft might arrive. But it looks like it is hoping the evaluation of the bids will be done fairly soon.

“It is estimated that the evaluation period for the selection of the successful bidder, which includes aircraft testing, may take up to six months, after closing of the RFP (request for proposal),” according to Pierre-Alain Bujold, spokesman for Public Services and Procurement Canada.

No details were provided on when the winning company would be announced but some aerospace firms are expecting that to happen by early 2017.