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Canadian air force orders 16 Airbus search and rescue planes

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The Airbus factory nearToulouse Reuters/ Regis Duvignau

Canada's air force has ordered 16 planes from European planemaker Airbus, the French-based company announced on Thursday.


The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has ordered 16 C295W aircraft modified for search and rescue for 2.3 billion euros.

The contract will also include servicing the planes, through a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and Canada's PAL Aerospace, the Canadian government said.

The planes will replace 19 de Havilland Buffalo and Lockheed Hercules, which have been in use for five decades, and will be delivered three years after the finalisation of the contract.

Airbus beat competition from Italian and Brazilian planemakers.

"We are acutely conscious of the importance of search and rescue in Canada's vast and challenging territory and we are honoured to have been selected to provide the aircraft and service to ensure that the role is carried out effectively," Simon Jacques, the head of Airbus Defence and Space said in Ottawa.

The RCAF already has five Airbus CC-150 planes for inflight refuelling, transport and VIP travel.

The contract brings to 185 the number of C295s that Airbus has sold around the world since 1997.

Last month the company announced a plan to shed 1,164 jobs.