Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, on behalf of Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Helena Jaczek, announced the award of two contracts to support the
CH-149 Cormorant helicopter fleet and ensure the continued contribution of the fleet to Canada’s search and rescue (SAR) operations.
The two contracts for the Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade and its simulator solution, valued at up to $1.24 billion (taxes included), were awarded to CAE Inc. of Montreal, Canada and to Leonardo U.K. Ltd of Yeovil, United Kingdom.
The CH-149 Cormorant fleet has been providing reliable and crucial service to Canada since 2001 and requires upgrades to remain operationally effective. Through the contract with Leonardo U.K. Ltd., we will upgrade our current fleet to the most advanced version of the helicopter, and acquire additional airframes/parts to increase our fleet size from 13 to 16 aircraft. This will ensure that we can continue to perform SAR operations from Comox, B.C., Gander, N.L., Greenwood, N.S., and add to the SAR capacity from Trenton, Ont.
Moreover, this project addresses the need for an improved training solution. By providing a domestic flight simulator configured to our modernised aircraft, our aircrews will have dedicated training capacity in Canada that is representative of our modernized fleet; and will no longer need to travel to the United Kingdom to train on simulators that may not be consistent with our aircraft.
As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is making investments to ensure the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force have the equipment they need to fulfill their domestic and international missions, including SAR operations here at home.