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Canada to upgrade AW101 rescue helicopters in-country under Leonardo-IMP deal

3rd May 2023 - 15:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Upgrade work on 13 Canadian Armed Forces CH-149 helicopters will be carried out by IMP in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Photo: Leonardo)

Canada's IMP Aerospace will carry out upgrades on 13 of the 16 AW101 aircraft covered by the CMLU programme under a sub-contract from Leonardo Helicopters UK.

Leonardo has sub-contracted Canada's IMP Aerospace & Defence to undertake upgrade work on 13 in-service Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) AW101/CH-149 Cormorant SAR helicopters at its facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

This agreement is further to the Canadian Department of National Defence contract awarded to Leonardo, through Leonardo UK on 23 December 2022, for the CH-149 mid-life upgrade (CMLU) project for 16 aircraft in total.

The first three Cormorants will be completed at Leonardo’s UK facilities. IMP personnel will then undertake on-the-job training in the UK to complete the build of the remaining 13 CMLU helicopters in Canada.

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The subcontract covers programme management, logistic support and engineering work as well as electrical loom manufacture and procurement equipment. 

Leonardo is investing 100% of the CMLU contract value with other Canadian partners and suppliers. These include R7D organisations and small- to medium-sized business as well as academia.

David Gossen, president of IMP Aerospace & Defence, commented: 'Since 2001, IMP has supported Canada's rotary-wing SAR fleet with pride. This contract award acknowledges our unique experience with the CH-149 and our vital role in its sustainment both now and into the future.'


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