The Canadian Government intends to carry out the CH-149 Cormorant mid-life upgrade programme (CMLU) to modernise the AW101 primary search and rescue (SAR) helicopter fleet used by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Work on the CH-149 CMLU will be performed by Leonardo, IMP Aerospace and Defence, and the other members of Team Cormorant, which comprises CAE, Rockwell Collins Canada and GE Canada.

As part of the project, Leonardo will also be responsible for increasing the current fleet of 14 AW101 helicopters to 21.

“The CH-149 CMLU is a proposal by Team Cormorant to modernise and expand the RWSAR Cormorant fleet of the RCAF.”

In collaboration with Team Cormorant, the company aims to work with the Canadian Government to complete the options analysis and finalise the requirements for the CH-149 CMLU and fleet augmentation, simulation and training programme.

Based on the AW101-612 standard, the partners will offer a very low-risk solution to modernise, enhance and address obsolescence, in addition to increasing the Cormorant fleet that would return to all four main operating bases of the RCAF.

The CH-149 CMLU programme will also further reduce costs of ownership over the extended life of the helicopters to 2040 and beyond.

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The CH-149 CMLU is a proposal by Team Cormorant to modernise and expand the RWSAR Cormorant fleet of the RCAF.

RCAF’s AW101 helicopter combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and advanced manufacturing to offer a proven platform for heads of state and VVIP operators.