Airbus plans to deliver the first C295W search and rescue aircraft to the Brazilian air force in the first quarter next year, the company tells FlightGlobal.

A completed maiden flight means Airbus can start the process of having the aircraft cleared for delivery by Brazilian customers.

Brazil ordered three specially-configured search-and-rescue C295Ws in June 2014 to join a fleet of 12 C295 transports. Airbus initially planned to deliver the first aircraft by the end of 2014.

The C295W is equipped with a third-generation fully integrated tactical system (FITS), a technology that Airbus highlights is a feature of the company’s bid for Canada’s $3.2 billion competition for a fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft (FWSAR).

Airbus joined two other bidders —Alenia’s C-27J and Embraer’s KC-390 — competing for the FWSAR award. Canada’s Public Works and Government Services agency plans to select the winner of the 14-year-old competition by the end of the year.

In addition to the third-generation FITS, Airbus is offering an L-3 Communications Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared turret sensor, as well as a 360° radar from an unnamed supplier, Airbus says.