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    Canada’s CH-149 Cormorant Fleet to Elevate SAR with Advanced Mobile Phone Detection System

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    In a significant step towards enhancing its search and rescue operations, Canada is set to upgrade its CH-149 Cormorant helicopter fleet, integrating an advanced mobile phone detection system that promises to reduce search times and save lives more efficiently.

    The Canadian Armed Forces have selected Smith Myers’ ARTEMIS system, a technology that enables precise mobile phone detection, enhancing location accuracy and reducing search times through more efficient and focused rescue efforts.

    The overhaul, known as the Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopter Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) programme.

    The goal of the CMLU Project is to upgrade Canada’s AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” SAR helicopter fleet to the newest standard, mirroring Norway’s SAR capabilities.

    Norway has also chosen the Smith Myers ARTEMIS system for its search and rescue operations.

    The project is managed by Leonardo Helicopters under a C$1 billion contract.

    This package of upgrades will be applied to 16 aircraft, with the incorporation of three extra Cormorant helicopters.

    This investment is intended to improve the fleet’s systems and technologies, as well as guarantee adherence to evolving airspace regulations, thereby extending the helicopters’ operational lifespan beyond 2042.

    The selection of Smith Myers’ ARTEMIS system as a critical component of the CMLU marks a shift towards a more targeted and efficient search methodology.

    “This innovative technology enables precise mobile phone detection, enhancing location accuracy and reducing search times,” Smith Myers stated.

    Andrew Munro, Managing Director of Smith Myers, expressed pride and excitement at being chosen for this vital upgrade. “Being selected to be part of this important mid-life search and rescue upgrade and as the mobile phone detection, communication and location system of choice for the Royal Canadian Air Force across fixed and rotary-wing platforms is a great honour,” he said.

    Gian Piero Cutillo, managing director of Leonardo Helicopters, emphasised the impact of the CMLU programme on providing the Royal Canadian Air Force with an advanced, all-weather SAR capability.

    “The AW101/CH-149 Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopter fleet will provide the Royal Canadian Air Force with the sustainment of a robust, high-tech, all-weather SAR capability across Canada,” he said. “The CMLU programme through Team Cormorant will reduce the cost of fleet ownership, while further increasing reliability, capability and safety for Canadian people.”

    The collaboration under Team Cormorant includes Leonardo, IMP Aerospace and Defence, GE Canada and Collins Aerospace Canada as well as Smith Myers.

    The Artemis system has been in active service worldwide since 2017. The growing global customer base includes multiple programmes in the UK, Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

    Relevant articles:
    Canada to integrate Smith Myers mobile phone tracking system into search and rescue fleet, FlightGlobal
    life upgrade of Canada’s Cormorant SAR helicopters, European Security & Defence
    Smith Myers ARTEMIS selected for RCAF Cormorant SAR Helicopter mid-life upgrade, Vertical Mag
    Smith Myers selected for RCAF CH, RotorHub International

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