Defence Programs

Ottawa, Ontario, March 17, 2014 -- Team Spartan, comprised of Alenia Aermacchi, General Dynamics Canada, and DRS Technologies Canada is pleased to announce that it has added Kelowna Flightcraft (now KF Aerospace), a leading Canadian aircraft in-service support (ISS) provider to its team that is pursuing the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) program.

With heavy maintenance facilities and support shops in Kelowna, BC and Hamilton, ON, KF provides full-service aircraft maintenance, including overhaul and modification, for its own fleet of aircraft as well as customers such as the RCAF, Canadian airline operators like WestJet and Canadian North, and commercial air carriers from around the world.

Working with Team Spartan’s ISS integrator, General Dynamics Canada, KF will provide long term maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) as well as engineering and supply chain support services for the C-27J FWSAR fleet across Canada.

KF has been providing full ISS, including in-depth inspections and structural repair, component repair and overhaul, engineering, technical investigations, modifications/upgrades, and manufacturing and assembly of prototypes for the RCAF’s CC-115 Buffalo and CC-138 Twin Otter FWSAR fleets since May 2009. KF, through its Allied Wings operation, is also responsible for providing primary and advanced multi-engine and rotary wing pilot training (with full operational support) to the RCAF under a performance based contract at its world class facility in Southport, Manitoba.

“KF is an invaluable addition to our already strong Canadian FWSAR team,” said Ben Stone, president and chief executive officer of Alenia Aermacchi’s North American business unit. “This is a company that understands the dedication required to maintain search and rescue assets. KF has a history of supporting RCAF aircraft and is committed to providing the high level of service required by a critical capability like SAR.We look forward to announcing more Canadian partnerships as we get closer to the release of Canada’s FWSAR Request for Proposal.”

Dave Ibbetson, vice president of General Dynamics Canada added, “An already strong Team Spartan just got stronger. KF brings its best in class MRO capabilities to the team, along with an in-service support skill set and dedication to quality that matches our own. They are the right fit for providing the level of service Canada needs.”

“We are honored to be joining such a strong team,” said Tracy Medve, president KF “We have been serving the RCAF, supporting their current fleet of search and rescue aircraft for a number of years and have significantly improved reliability and operational availability of this important fleet of aircraft. We understand the demands of the job and believe the C-27J is the right aircraft for Canada’s FWSAR needs. For KF, this is a great opportunity to become part of Alenia's global supply chain and add the C-27J to the already impressive list of aircraft we support.”

Canada’s search and rescue teams deserve an aircraft they can count on no matter the conditions or distance. Thanks to its rapid response time, speed, size, power, endurance, and maneuverability, the C-27J can reach the most remote and austere mountainous, Northern, and Maritime locations at a high speed and stay at the search area for extended periods of time. These are the characteristics that have made the C-27J the right solution for twelve nations including the Government of Peru who recently selected the C-27J to carry out a variety of missions including search and rescue, in part, because of its ability to operate effectively in the most difficult conditions including the Andes Mountains. Additionally the U.S. Coast Guard recently acquired 14 C-27Js as part of its search and rescue fleet recapitalization.

Team Spartan’s FWSAR solution will support hundreds of long-term, high-tech jobs across the country as well as investments in infrastructure and technology, making it an outstanding economic stimulus for Canada’s aerospace sector. Team Spartan will enable enhanced capability growth in Canada, delivering high-quality and low-risk services.

About Alenia Aermacchi

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, has a role of primary importance in the worlds civil and defence aeronautical industry counts a total workforce of ca. 11,000 people and operates in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aero structures.

Alenia Aermacchi will serve as the prime contractor for Team Spartan and will provide the green aircraft platform, including engineering support and avionics. The aircraft will be modified, missionized, and supported in Atlantic Canada.

About General Dynamics Canada

With an established Canadian presence for more than 60 years with employees in Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax, General Dynamics Canada is one of Canada’s largest defence electronics company with a worldwide reputation for excellence in the production of leading-edge, technology-based, integrated solutions for land, airborne and maritime applications. The company’s success is based on strong systems engineering experience, ongoing investment in research and development, collaboration with commercial and military systems industry leaders, and a singular focus on customer service. The company’s portfolio of next-generation Command, Control, Communication, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions and integrated mission systems is backed by complete systems integration and in-service support. General Dynamics Canada is part of General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). More information about the company is available at

General Dynamics Canada will act as the team’s mission system integrator. It will be responsible for modifying the aircraft to accept high tech sensors and the computers that manage them, increasing the search and rescue crew’s ability to detect rescue targets. In addition, it will serve as the in-service support (ISS) integrator for the C-27J.

About DRS Technologies Canada

DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. designs, manufactures and supports a broad range of military communications, electro-optics, surveillance, and sensor signal processing systems for naval and ground applications as well as electronic warfare threat simulation and training systems ranging from computer-based training to high-power threat simulators. DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. is also an experienced provider of turnkey state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing, integration and test services for various aerospace, defence and space applications. DRS Technologies Canada, Ltd. is a subsidiary of DRS Technologies, Inc. (DRS), a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica SpA (FNC.MI).

The DRS training development team will design, oversee and manage the creation and maintenance of all courseware and training aids for the duration of the contract. The training will support the operational mandate of the FWSAR fleet by making maximum use of electronic learning and simulation to optimize availability of the FWSAR aircraft for operational employment.

About KF Aerospace

KF operates and leases over 70 aircraft; is Canada’s largest cargo operator; is a leading aircraft maintenance, modification and manufacturing organization; is a Transport Canada Design Approval Organization and a DND Recognized Design Approval Organization (Engineering); owns the type certificate for the Convair aircraft; and is a Transport Canada Approved Training Organization delivering training to a wide range of aviation companies. In operation since 1970, KF is ISO 9001 certified and employs 1000 employees across Canada with our head office located in Kelowna, BC.

KF’s full service Aircraft Maintenance Operations focuses on heavy aircraft maintenance, overhaul, and modifications with major facilities in Kelowna, BC and Hamilton, ON. This includes mechanical, structural, avionics, interiors, engine, landing gear, parts supply, and fleet management with a focus on B727, B737, B757, B767; DH-8, Q400, Buffalo, Twin Otter, and Convair 580 / 5800 stretch.