Technology company L3 WESCAM has completed the delivery of its first MX-15 electro-optical and infrared (EO / IR) system as part of Canada’s fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) aircraft replacement programme.
Delivered to Airbus Defense and Space, the first EO / IR system out of the total of 20 will help the Canadian Department of National Defense (DND) replace its existing SAR jets.
Canada intends to replace the CC-115 Buffalo and CC-130H Hercules SAR aircraft, along with their integrated technology, with new Airbus C295W multi-role tactical airlifters as part of the FWSAR project.
L3 WESCAM’s MX-15 system is integrated with EO / IR sensors with local area processing, which helps provide improved image detail and dynamic range while reducing image noise.
Fitted with high-sensitivity sensors and advanced technologies, the MX-15 EO / IR system will provide SAR operators with improved day and night visual capabilities irrespective of atmospheric interference.
L3 WESCAM president Matt Richi said: “L3 is proud to partner with Airbus on this much-anticipated Canadian programme, as it really hits close to home for WESCAM and its large base of Canadian employees.
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“The aircraft and the technologies that support this programme have been referred to as ‘game-changers’ for Canada, and we couldn’t be happier to be a key system in the overall solution.”
On 1 December 2016, Airbus Defense and Space secured the $2.4bn FWSAR contract for a period of 11 years.
Under the deal, the company will deliver 16 C295W aircraft and spare parts, offer training and support infrastructure, and provide continued maintenance services to Canada.
Built by Airbus, C295W is a tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment with a range of 2,000nm at a payload capacity of 6t.