Mid-Life Upgrade: advantages and opportunities

The main objective of the Mid-Life Upgrade programs is to enhance the capabilities of the existing in-service fleet of helicopters, including Canada’s  CH-149 Cormorant fleet.

Leonardo  24 May 2019

Leonardo Helicopters’ Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) team was established to respond to the growing market demand of upgrading in-service fleets, thereby  maintaining and improving the global competitiveness of Leonardo helicopter operators, both civil and military, providing targeted solutions to specific operational and mission requirements.

Furthermore, the MLU programs ensure continuing airworthiness; provide greater operational capability; improve the reliability and availability of the helicopter through the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies; and make continuous improvements to maintenance activities. Mid-Life Upgrades result in a reduced cost of ownership, the resolution of in-service obsolescence issues and the rationalization of the supply chain.

Team Cormorant was re-established in support of Canada’s CH-149 Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade Program (CMLU). Within the Team, Leonardo collaborates with IMP Aerospace & Defence, CAE, GE Canada and Collins Aerospace. The CH-149 (Canadian designation for the  EH101) Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopters have been operating in Canada since 2002, successfully performing search and rescue missions and saving thousands of lives. 

No other helicopter meets the stringent Canadian mission requirements like the AW101, which has continued over the years to improve its performance and capabilities due to its cutting-edge technologies.

Leonardo welcomed the Government of Canada’s intention to proceed with the CH-149 CMLU. (Press Release)

This comprehensive upgrade of Canada’s CH-149 Cormorant  primary search and rescue helicopter fleet and fleet augmentation  presents the lowest risk, most cost effective solution for Canada while creating and sustaining hundreds of permanent Canadian jobs, economic benefits and technology transfers.

The Team Cormorant proposal includes a Full  Flight Simulator (FFS) and other state-of-the-art training devices to meet Canadian training requirements for years to come. These devices will reduce training costs while increasing the availability of the fleet for Search and Rescue missions.