CAE, GE Canada and Rockwell Collins in Canada join Team Cormorant

Team Cormorant Press Release | June 28, 2017

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 16 seconds.

Leonardo Helicopters and IMP Aerospace & Defence (IMP) have announced the addition of three key Canadian industrial partners that have joined Team Cormorant, to support the modernization of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)’s fleet of EH101/CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue (SAR) helicopters and potential expansion of the fleet through the conversion of AW101-519 helicopters.

Two search and rescue workers hang from a line connected to a Cormorant helicopter
The Cormorant helicopter (pictured) provides search and rescue service for Canada. Mike Reyno Photo

Joining Leonardo Helicopters, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the EH101 and AW101 helicopters, and IMP, the prime contractor for Cormorant in-service support, are some of Canada’s premier aerospace companies: CAE, GE Canada and Rockwell Collins in Canada. Other key Canadian companies will also join team Cormorant in the near future.

CAE would provide its world-class training systems integration capability; GE Canada is the OEM for the T700-T6A1 engines in the Cormorant and for the CT7-8E engines installed on the AW101-519 helicopters; and Rockwell Collins will provide its advanced cockpit display system.

The Cormorant mid-life upgrade (CMLU) and conversion program proposed by Team Cormorant will create a fleet of what Team Cormorant calls the world’s most advanced and capable search and rescue helicopters, adding they will be able to continue to meet RCAF’s search and rescue mandate through to 2040 and beyond in the most cost-effective manner.

Team Cormorant recognizes Canada’s new defence policy published June 7, 2017, setting out Canada’s defence requirements for the next 20 years, includes search and rescue operations as a “core mission.” Canada’s defence policy importantly commits funding for the CMLU. Team Cormorant affirms its full support to Canada for the CMLU to deliver the requirements detailed in the defence policy.

“The addition of CAE, GE Canada and Rockwell Collins further strengthens the industrial footprint of Team Cormorant in Canada and will help it deliver the most significant value proposition to Canada,” said Daniele Romiti, Leonardo Helicopters’ managing director. “The CMLU will build on the capability of the Cormorant, upgrading the CH-149 avionics suite to deliver enhanced performance to operate in all weather conditions.”

“IMP Aerospace & Defence has provided full turn-key in service support to the CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue fleet since its entry into service in the early 2000s. The CH-149 fleet is actively operated by the RCAF across Canada delivering essential life-saving missions to Canadians in distress. The fleet has clocked more flight hours than any other AW101 fleet in the world and now requires an upgrade to ensure continued cost effective service into the future,” said David Gossen, president of IMP Aerospace & Defence.

“This fleet enhancement will provide cost effective continuing service to the RCAF, enhance mission capabilities and extend Cormorant availability to central and northern Canada.”


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