Airbus Defence and Space and The Coulson Group of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering the industrialization, supply and support of the new water bomber version of the Airbus C295W transport aircraft.
Under the terms of the agreement The Coulson Group of Alberni BC, Canada through its operating company Coulson Aircrane Ltd, will develop and manufacture a version of its Retardant Dropping System (RDS) which is already in operation with the world's most demanding firefighting agencies.
The system installed in the C295W will consist of two roll-on-roll-off internal tanks, which after the fire season can be easily removed. The highly versatile C295W will then be available for its conventional role as a ramp-equipped, multi-role transport able to carry cargo, troops, paratroops or stretchers.
The RDS for the C295W comprises two internal tanks of 3,500 litres each able to transport water or retardant and able to be refilled in under seven minutes. When dropping, the flow-rate can be adjusted via the cockpit control panel according to the desired coverage, aircraft speed and height over terrain. A prototype C295W water bomber has been flying since 2013.
Coulson Aircrane manager, Britton Coulson said: "The Coulson Next Gen Retardant Delivery System is thoroughly proven in service with our operations using the C-130 water bomber and will bring a powerful new capability to the C295W which is already an outstanding transport in its class. Using this modular roll-on-roll-off system combined with our Next Gen Smart Controller, the C295W is an extremely cost-effective firefighting aircraft which is available as an unrestricted multi-role transport outside the fire season."
Antonio Rodriguez Barberan, Head of Sales, Military Aircraft, Airbus Defence and Space said: "Coulson's vast experience of aerial firefighting coupled to their superior equipment design and performance made them the obvious choice of partner and we look forward to working together for many years."