Lockheed Martin has bowed out of the competition to supply new fixed-wing search and rescue platforms to the Royal Canadian Air Force. As recently as January 13th, the aerospace giant was neither confirming nor denying that it was among the bidders who had met the Jan. 11th deadline set by Public Services and Procurement Canada.
However, in a January 14th e-mail, PSPC said there are only three bidders. FrontLine had already confirmed that they included Brazil-based Embraer, which is offering its twin-engine KC-390 jet, a much larger aircraft than the two twin-engine turboprop competitors: the Airbus C-295, built in Spain, and the Finmeccanica Alenia C-27J Spartan, built in Italy.
Government project managers expect to take six months to evaluate the bids, including ground and flight tests of the three aircraft. A roughly $3.1-billion contract for up to 17 aircraft, and an initial 20 years of in-service support, would follow late this year or early 2017.