Now that the CC-115 Buffalo has been fully retired, the aircraft that was supposed to replace it is a long time coming. The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that the C295 won’t be ready by summer as the RCAF had hoped but the military is offering few details on what the hold up is. In fact, the Air Force doesn’t know when the plane will enter operational service. “A revised schedule is currently being subjected to an extensive analysis that itself will take some time to complete because of its complexity,” RCAF spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier told the Citizen. Cormorant helicopters and C-130 rescue aircraft will fill in.
The Citizen says sources have told it centre of gravity and issues with search and rescue technicians parachuting off the back ramp are two of the problems the Air Force is grappling with. “We’re aware of the parachute and gravity issues, which is why we conduct testing and trials,” Le Bouthillier confirmed. “In short, these are problems that will be addressed as we work towards ensuring the fleet is safe for operational use.” So far nine of the 16 aircraft ordered have been finished and four of them are in Canada according to the Citizen story.