Military facing likely delay in delivery of new search-and-rescue plane


OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is refusing to accept the first of its new search-and-rescue planes from European manufacturer Airbus because of concerns with the aircraft’s manuals.

The new plane was supposed to be delivered to the military by Dec. 1.

Exactly how long delivery could be delayed remains unclear as Airbus, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Department of National Defence wrangle over the contents of the manuals, which contain thousands of pages.

The manuals provide pilots, aircrew and technicians with necessary instructions for operating and maintaining the aircraft.

The federal government announced three years ago that it would pay Airbus $2.4 billion for 16 CC-295 aircraft, which will replace the air force’s ancient Buffalo search-and-rescue planes and an old version of the RCAF’s Hercules aircraft.

The deal, which includes the option of paying Airbus another $2.3 billion to maintain and support the plane for 15 years, has been held up as one of the few major successes for Canada’s beleaguered military procurement system in recent years.

This report by The Canadian Press report was first published Nov. 20, 2019.

The Canadian Press