Government of Canada moving forward with Leonardo
By Helicopters Staff
Leonardo on May 29 announced it welcomes the Government of Canada’s intention to proceed with the CH-149 Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade Program (CMLU). While an exact timetable has not yet been set, Leonardo explains it will deliver a comprehensive upgrade to Canada’s AW101 primary search and rescue helicopter fleet and expand the current fleet of 14 AW101s by up to seven additional AW101s.
By Helicopters Staff
Leonardo with IMP Aerospace and Defence and the other members of Team Cormorant – CAE, Rockwell Collins Canada, and GE Canada –will work together in CH-149 CMLU. Leonardo explains the Government of Canada’s CMLU announcement recognizes that strength and ability of the AW101 helicopter to meet the country’s primary rotary wing search and rescue requirements for the Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons.
Leonardo, together with Team Cormorant, will continue working with the Government of Canada to conclude an Options Analysis and finalize the requirements for the CH-149 CMLU and fleet augmentation, simulation and training program. Based on the AW101-612 standard, Leonardo and Team Cormorant will provide a very low risk solution to upgrade, enhance and address obsolescence, as well augment the fleet to return the Cormorant to all four RCAF Main Operating Bases.
Over the past two years, in-support support from Leonardo, IMP and GE Canada has helped the Government of Canada achieve significant reduction in cost of ownership in the operation of the current Cormorant fleet, explains Leondardo. The CH-149 CMLU and augmentation will position the rotary wing SAR fleet for further reductions in cost of ownership over the extended life of the fleet to 2040 and beyond.
Leonardo and Team Cormorant are also committed to working with Canada’s aerospace and defence sector and academia to develop a Value Proposition program through Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs), delivering high-value direct and indirect benefits to Canada in support of areas of key strategic interest to Canada.
Leonardo points to its track record of ITB performance, delivering 121 per cent of its obligation on the original AW101 Cormorant acquisition contract two years ahead of schedule. Since then, Leonardo has continued to support Canada’s aerospace and defence sector, explains the company, procuring more than $1.5 billion in Canadian goods and services for its civil and military helicopter programs around the world.
Since its introduction into service in 2002, the CH-149 Cormorant has successfully carried out a number of SAR missions in Canada and its challenging weather conditions. The AW101 SAR is not only used by Canada but also by various nations also including Denmark, Portugal and Norway. The AW101 is also used for personnel recovery in Italy and for military duties in UK and many other countries around the world.