If the C-27J Spartan is chosen as Canada’s next fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) aircraft platform, Team Spartan will be charged with the duty of turning this premier transport plane into a technologically advanced life-saving plane for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
Team Spartan has built a strong pan-Canadian partnership of top aeronautic companies that have all played a significant role in designing the most capable, cost effective, and uncompromising search and rescue aircraft available today.
Team Spartan, led by Leonardo Aircraft, General Dynamics Mission Systems—Canada and DRS Technologies Canada, Ltd., has partnered with the experienced Halifax-based IMP Aerospace to missionize each plane as they are delivered to Canada.
Installation would include interior modification of the aircraft; the General Dynamics built mission system; specially-designed spotter windows and doors with connected defrost/demist systems and observer seats; IO/IR ball and turret system; Automatic Identification System and antenna; flare launchers and final painting of the aircraft.
IMP has the superior experience and know-how to handle the momentous and logistically challenging task of missionizing the stock C-27J transport aircraft into a state-of-the-art search and rescue platform capable of withstanding the extreme rigors of Canadian missions.
The company’s credentials in this line of work is well recognized in Canada, where current heavy maintenance and modification programs include the CP-140 Aurora, CH-124 Sea King,
CH-149 Cormorant, CT-114 Tutor and CH-146 Griffon. Around the world, IMP’s aircraft missionizing work is also a standard-bearer, including in the United States, the United Kingdom and several other countries.
“For decades, IMP has developed significant knowledge and experience modifying aircraft for our nation’s military and meeting the operational requirements of the RCAF. We are ready and look forward to meeting the possible challenge with the Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program,” said Tom Galley, Executive Vice-President of IMP Aerospace.
The equipment IMP will install into this aircraft will establish the C-27J as the most modern search and rescue plane Canadians have ever had in their inventory. Why is this important? Because every year, the RCAF responds to approximately 1,000 search and rescue taskings around the country. The RCAF’s area of responsibility for search and rescue is more than 18 million square kilometres of some of North America’s most remote and treacherous terrain. From the numerous lakes and open plains, to the frozen Arctic to the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific, and Atlantic Ocean where search and rescue responsibility stretches almost halfway to Europe.
Missionizing would be done in IMP’s Halifax hangars co-located on the grounds of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. IMP would work with Team Spartan to design the installation process, and as the C-27J program develops beyond the first aircraft delivery, a systematic process will be established for the completion of each aircraft all the way through testing and final delivery to the RCAF.
The C-27J is a rugged and maneouvrable multi-mission aircraft and is in service in Australia, Bulgaria, Chad, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Slovakia and Romania. The U.S. Special Operations command and the U.S. Coast Guard also use it.
The Spartan offers some of the most up-to-date features available in aviation today, and the U.S. Coast Guard uses the C-27J for a very similar SAR mission as the Canadian FWSAR program would use it. It can transport troops and cargo; air-drop various equipment and material; and carry out medical evacuation and disaster relief missions. Designed for short takeoffs and landings, the Spartan is able to use a wide range of airfields, including truncated and unprepared Arctic strips that lack support equipment.
“We are proud to be a part of this Canadian-strong Team Spartan with its focus on delivering the best search and rescue aircraft in the C-27J for the Canadian people,” said Tom Galley, Executive Vice-President of IMP Aerospace.
If the C-27J is selected, Team Spartan will manage the integrated logistic support for the fleet through Spartan Aviation Services, a joint venture company led by General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada and Leonardo Aircraft, headquartered in Ottawa. While General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada will be the Canadian in-service support integrator for the aircraft, DRS Technologies Canada will oversee the training system operations. Spartan Aviation Services will have the support of a strong Canadian partner network across the country, including KF Aerospace, the MR&O provider; Rolls-Royce Canada; Standard Aero; CAE; Esterline CMC Electronics; L-3 WESCAM; Flyht Aerospace Solutions; Airdyne Aerospace; and ATCO Frontec.