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RCAF Awards Contract to Upgrade CH-149 Cormorants; Looks to Add 7 More Helicopters

Fri May 25, 2018 3:01 am

Contract is estimated to be worth $1 billion dollars to upgrade 14 helicopters; this is a sole sourced contract issued to Leonardo: ... elo-offer/ ... extension/

Scope of the contract includes upgrades to the avionics, improvement of the sensor suite (currently, there is no built-in sensors beyond a weather radar), updated training devices, publications and infrastructure to support the training of aircrew and maintainers for the modernized aircraft, and a flight simulator is also being purchased for training of air crews (currently, RCAF CH-149 air crew go to the UK for initial training before returning for training).

Per what Vertical Magazine is reporting, the final configuration of the helicopters will be based on the Norwegian AW101-612 helicopters.

This award undercuts a bid by Sikorsky Helicopters, who was offering civilian versions of the S-92 as a replacement to the CH-149's.

Furthermore, the government moving forward in acquiring up to 7 additional aircraft to top off the fleet; options being examined are buying brand or leasing new AW101's, or modifying the fleet of VH-71's purchased from the US, and converting them to the same specs as the rest of the fleet.

While the upgrade contract is sole-sourced, the government may decide to compete future in-service support.

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