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 modernized 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.
SAR fleet upgrades essential to service provision
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.
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, commented: “The top item in my mandate letter from the Prime Minister is to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces has the capabilities, equipment and culture needed to implement the objectives in our Defence Policy. The CH-149 Cormorant helicopter is a critical asset for search and rescue operations in Canada – and these contracts provide the best solution for Canada to upgrade its fleet and provide the accompanying training tools to our aviators so that they can continue to keep Canadians safe – now, and in the years to come.”
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, added: “I am pleased that today’s contract award announcement to CAE Inc. and Leonardo U.K. Ltd will enable our government to continue to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force and its members with the advanced equipment they need to do their job, at the best value for Canadians.”