The RCAF’s first operational C295 is on Canadian soil and on its way to its home base at CFB Comox. The aircraft arrived in Newfoundland late last week after being ferried from the manufacturing plant in Spain. If history is an indication, the aircraft will hopscotch across Canada stopping at RCAF bases to give personnel a look at the state-of-the-art search and rescue platform. The plane is a couple of months late thanks to complications created by the pandemic. It will replace a Buffalo SAR aircraft in Comox, which is the only base that uses the 60-year-old aircraft. The RCAF has already retired several Buffalos in anticipation of the transition.
Eventually, the fleet of 15 C295s will be based at Comox, Winnipeg and Trenton. In addition to retiring the Buffs, the C295s will allow the RCAF to get rid of the last of its H-model C-130s that have been doing search and rescue duty since the arrival of the new J-model Hercs over the last 15 years. The C295s will continue to work with Cormorant and Griffon SAR helicopters to provide the service. The C295s will continue to arrive over the next couple of years and Comox will serve as the training and maintenance hub.