Leonardo welcomes the continued commitment made by Canada’s Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, to modernize and expand Canada’s primary rotary search and rescue helicopter fleet through the Cormorant MidLife Upgrade (CMLU) program. Yesterday’s announcement marks a major step forward ahead of program finalization.
To date, the AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” has enabled the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) search and rescue crews to successfully complete thousands of rescues, including several that received international recognition for their heroism. Leonardo is very proud that the Cormorant has been trusted to provide the capabilities to ensure these rescues were possible in any weather condition, anywhere in Canada or offshore and with this announcement, will continue to do so for decades to come. The Cormorant provides an unmatched capability in meeting Canada’s search and rescue requirements that allows the conduct of operations in areas not accessible by other helicopter types.
The CMLU program will upgrade the Cormorants to the latest AW101-612 standard, currently being delivered to Norway, providing a low risk upgrade path with a modern, proven solution. These capability enhancements and equipment improvements will include state-of-the-art avionics, a new “glass cockpit”, the addition of the latest sensors, radar and search enhancement technology, more powerful digitally-controlled engines, wireless in-cabin communications, LED lighting, rescue hoist upgrades, synthetic training solutions and more, enabling the Cormorants to spend less time searching and more time rescuing stranded Canadians. Leonardo, as “Team Cormorant” prime contractor, will work closely with IMP Aerospace and Defence to deliver the CMLU program in Canada, with the work undertaken by Canadians. CAE will deliver Canada’s first AW101 full motion simulator and other synthetic training capabilities. GE Canada will provide the new engines and Collins Aerospace will provide the new cockpit displays and avionics. Other Canadian suppliers will be engaged through a robust Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) and Value Proposition program which will deliver the maximum value of the CMLU and fleet expansion to Canada.
The proposed CMLU and fleet expansion program will be delivered with no interruption or reduction in rotary search and rescue capabilities and will return Canada’s primary search and rescue helicopter to service at CFB Trenton