Leonardo Helicopters and IMP Aerospace & Defence (IMP) have re-established “Team Cormorant” to support modernization of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) fleet of EH101/CH-149 Cormorant Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters and expansion of the fleet through the conversion of AW101-519 helicopters.
Team Cormorant comprises Leonardo Helicopters, the Original Equipment Manufacturer of the EH101 and AW101 helicopters; IMP, the Prime Contractor for Cormorant In-Service Support; and other key Canadian companies who will supply and support critical aircraft components, technology, systems, simulation and training.
The Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) and Conversion Program proposed by Team Cormorant will create a fleet of the worlds most advanced and capable Search and Rescue helicopters available today, to meet the RCAF’s “no fail” Search and Rescue mandate for the next 25 years.
It combines the current fleet of 14 Cormorant helicopters with additional helicopters obtained by the Government of Canada when it acquired the assets of the U.S. VH-71 presidential helicopter program, currently in storage at IMP Aerospace in Halifax. The CMLU and Conversion Program offers a single, common fleet incorporating the latest avionic and mission systems, advanced radars and sensors, vision enhancement and tracking systems.
The Canadian Government recently cited the Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) program and the critical importance of the Cormorant in providing a vital SAR service that Canadians rely on. The CMLU will provide capability improvements to enhance its overall mission effectiveness and return the primary Rotary Wing Search and Rescue (RWSAR) helicopter to CFB Trenton, covering the Great Lakes region up to the High Arctic.
Team Cormorant’s CMLU program also offers significant reductions in cost of ownership and will deliver the conversion without reducing the current Search and Rescue aircraft availability, culminating in the expansion of service from three main SAR bases to four.