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Canada improves SAR through Cormorant upgrade
The Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade programme for the Canadian MoD's fleet of AW101s will upgrade the Cormorants to the latest AW101-612 standard, currently being delivered to Norway.
The Cormorant upgrade means improved avionics, glass cockpit, better sensors, LED lighting and rescue hoist enhancements.

Leonardo has welcomed the continued commitment made by Canada's Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan, to modernise and expand Canada's primary rotary search and rescue helicopter fleet through the Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) programme.

To date, the AW101/CH-149 Cormorant has enabled the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) SAR crews to successfully complete thousands of rescues, including several that received international recognition for their heroism. The Cormorant has been trusted to provide the capabilities to ensure these rescues were possible in any weather condition, anywhere in Canada or offshore and with this announcement, will continue to do so for decades to come. The Cormorant enables the conduct of operations in areas not accessible by other helicopter types.

The CMLU programme will upgrade the Cormorants to the latest AW101-612 standard, currently being delivered to Norway. These capability enhancements and equipment improvements will include state-of-the-art avionics, a new glass cockpit, the addition of the latest sensors, radar and search enhancement technology, more powerful digitally-controlled engines, wireless in-cabin communications, LED lighting, rescue hoist upgrades and synthetic training solutions.

Leonardo, as Team Cormorant prime contractor, will work closely with IMP Aerospace and Defence to deliver the CMLU programme in Canada, with the work undertaken by Canadians. CAE will deliver Canada's first AW101 full motion simulator and other synthetic training capabilities. GE Canada will provide the new engines and Collins Aerospace will supply new cockpit displays and avionics. Other Canadian suppliers will be engaged through a robust Industrial Technological Benefits and Value Proposition programme which will deliver the maximum value of the CMLU and fleet expansion to Canada.

The proposed CMLU and fleet expansion programme will be delivered with no interruption or reduction in rotary search and rescue capabilities and will return Canada's primary search and rescue helicopter to service at CFB Trenton.

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