The Canadian Department of National Defence has awarded Leonardo $1 billion CAN (€690 million) for the AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) Project.
The contract covers upgrading 16 aircraft in total, comprising 13 existing Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopter (CSH) currently in-service and the augmentation of a further three aircraft. This contract will enhance the aircraft’s systems and technologies, ensure compliance with emerging airspace requirements, extend the life expectancy of the fleet to 2042+ and enable the return of Cormorant helicopters to the Main Operating Base (MOB) Trenton.
After distinguished 20-years of service life, the CH-149 Cormorant fleet will now undergo a mid-life upgrade, further to Team Cormorant’s proposition. The team is a collaboration of Leonardo and is supported by its principle Canadian subcontractor IMP Aerospace and Defence together with GE Canada, and Collins Aerospace Canada. The majority of the CMLU work will be performed in Canada, primarily at IMP’s Halifax, N.S. facilities.
The CMLU Project will transition Canada’s AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” SAR helicopter fleet to the latest standard currently being delivered for SAR in Norway. The CMLU Project will include; avionics, a new glass cockpit, more powerful digitally-controlled engines, wireless in-cabin communications, the latest SAR sensors including Electro Optical Infra-Red device and Mobile Phone Detection Location System –enabling less search and more rescue.
Cormorant can be used to perform number of roles including SAR, Combat SAR, Personnel Recovery, Special Forces Operations, utility, troop transport, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Airborne Early Warning, mine sweeping.