The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) received its third and final Airbus SC-105 Amazonas search and rescue (SAR) aircraft on December 9, during a handover ceremony at the company’s production facility in Seville, Spain.
Following the delivery, the aircraft – serial 6552 – departed Spain on December 11 and has since arrived at Campo Grande air base in Brazil’s Mato Grosso do Sul state. There it will be operated by the 2nd Squadron of the 10th Aviation Group (2°/10° GAv) ‘Pelicano (Pelican)’, alongside serials 6550 and 6551, which were delivered in August 2017 and October 2019, respectively. Locally designated the SC-105 Amazonas, this dedicated SAR platform is a variant of Airbus’ C-295MPA Persuader twin-turboprop maritime patrol aircraft.
Lt Brig Heraldo Luiz Rodrigues, director general of Brazil’s Airspace Control Department (DECEA), said: “The [FAB] receives a strategic vector that ensures the ability to search and rescue in an area of 22 million square kilometres under the responsibility of the Brazilian state, or even carrying out aeromedical evacuation missions, rescue in flight, and other humanitarian missions nationwide and in South America.”
The first SC-105 entered service with Brazil in April 2009, when two SAR-equipped variants of the C-105 Amazonas tactical transport (based on the C-295M) operated as an interim solution for the FAB. In July 2014, Airbus announced that the South American nation had contracted it to produce and deliver three fully SAR-configured SC-105s to the air force.
The two interim examples are being reconverted into C-105 tactical transports. One has already reverted back to its original configuration and was redelivered to the FAB after SC-105, serial 6550, was handed over in 2017. The second will undergo the same process now that the third and final fully SAR-configured SC-105 has arrived in Brazil.