Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was in Comox Thursday to announce investments to strengthen and increase the helicopter fleet used by 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Feds invest $1.39 billion into growth, modernization of CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue fleet

Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade project announced

  • Aug. 22, 2019 2:30 p.m.

The federal government is modernizing and growing its CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue fleet.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was in Comox Thursday to announce investments to strengthen and increase the helicopter fleet used by 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron.

Through the investments announced, the fleet will receive at least two additional helicopters and be upgraded to extend its life to at least 2042.

The CH-149 Cormorant provides a helicopter capability that allows search and rescue crews to conduct operations in areas not accessible by other helicopter fleets. Upgrading and enhancing this critical capability will ensure that it continues to be the reliable aircraft needed to conduct successful search and rescue operations in Canada’s challenging environment.

“Canadians rely on the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force to conduct successful search and rescue operations in challenging circumstances,” said Sajjan. “These enhancements to the CH-149 Cormorant fleet will ensure that search and rescue crews have the right equipment to continue providing these life-saving services.”

The CH-149s will be upgraded to the AW101-612 design, which is the helicopter model recently procured by Norway for that country’s search and rescue missions. Using an already established configuration accelerates the project considerably. Training solutions and related infrastructure will also be acquired.

“Every year, the Royal Canadian Air Force flies about 1,000 missions in support of search and rescue, a core mission of the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lt.-Gen. A.D. Meinzinger, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. “These upgrades to the CH-149 Cormorant, and an increase in fleet size ensures the RCAF will continue to deliver search and rescue services in the challenging Canadian environment.”

The Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade project is valued at up to $1.39 billion.

The project office will conduct this work with Leonardo S.p.A. in partnership with IMP Aerospace, and CAE.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five Vancouver Island First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

City of Port Alberni to move forward with ‘Quay to Quay’ pathway

Port Alberni city council has proposed connecting Victoria Quay to Harbour Quay

BC Hydro urges caution over planned flow increases on Ash River

River flow increases will assist fish migration, but could pose safety risk to humans

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Indigenous regalia stolen from car in Port Alberni

RCMP are asking for information on three ceremonial items

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read