Smith Meyers announced on 28 May 2024, that its Artemis mobile phone detection location system has been chosen as part of the mid-life upgrade for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) Cormorant Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter, project managed by Leonardo.

The Artemis provides precise mobile phone detection for location accuracy and reduced searching times, and has been in service with fleets elsewhere since 2017, including with the SAR capabilities for Norway and the UK. 

“Being selected to be part of this important mid-life search and rescue upgrade and as the Mobile Phone Detection, Communication and Location system of choice for the Royal Canadian Air Force, across fixed and rotary wing platforms is a great honour,” said Andrew Munro, Smith Meyers managing director.

“We are excited to be part of this transformative project and to contributing to the advancement of search and rescue capabilities for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Artemis stands as a testament to Smith Myers’ commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions that make a positive impact in critical operations,” added Munro.

Leonardo was awarded a C$1bn ($732m) contract in 2017 by the Canadian Ministry of National Defence for an upgrade of 16 Cormorants that would extend their life expectancy beyond 2042, taking Norway’s SAR capability as a template for technological modernisation. The collaboration under Team Cormorant grew to also include IMP Aerospace and Defence, GE Canada, and Collins Aerospace Canada.

 “The AW101/CH-149 Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter fleet will provide the Royal Canadian Air Force with the sustainment of a robust, high-tech all weather SAR capability across Canada,” siad Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters, emphasising the impact of the upgrade programme on Canada’s SAR capability.

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 “The CMLU programme through Team Cormorant will reduce the cost of fleet ownership, while further increasing reliability, capability and safety for Canadian people,” added Cutillo.