ARCHIVED - Renewed Contract to Sustain Flight-Readiness of Canada's Search and Rescue Helicopters

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News Release / September 12, 2007 / Project number: NR - 07.082

HALIFAX - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today announced that the maintenance contract has been awarded for Canada’s search and rescue helicopter, the CH-149 Cormorant. The contract will provide continued maintenance on the Cormorant helicopters to allow them to conduct search and rescue work in often harsh and demanding environments.

“The Cormorant helicopter provides Canada with one of the most modern and effective search and rescue capabilities, able to operate in some of the harshest, most severe conditions in the world,” said Minister MacKay. “They can fly over 1,000 km without refueling and carry up to 12 stretchers at a time. Whether it’s a rescue at high sea, helping an injured mountain climber or finding a lost hiker, they are ready ‘24-7’ when called upon.”

"We've ensured that the Canadian Forces are provided with uninterrupted access to the fleet of CH-149 Cormorants by extending the existing contract with IMP Group Ltd.", stated the Honourable Michael Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). "This contract was first awarded in July 2000 as a result of a open and transparent procurement process, and continues to meet the operational needs of the Department of National Defence."

The contract, awarded to Halifax-based IMP Group Ltd, Aerospace Division, represents the second seven-year increment in a competetively awarded contract. This original contract, awarded in 2000, provided for extensions in seven-year increments, enabling DND to ensure continued in-service support for the Cormorant aircraft. The contract is valued at an estimated $591 million over seven years.

IMP Group Ltd. will ensure the continued flight-readiness of the Cormorant fleet and will be called upon to provide first and second line maintenance on the fleet at the four Cormorant operating bases located in Comox, British Columbia; Gander, Newfoundland; Greenwood, Nova Scotia; and Trenton, Ontario. The contract will also ensure the sustained repair and overhaul of helicopter components as well as engineering support and spares.

The rugged CH-149 Cormorant is Canada’s only dedicated search and rescue helicopter. It can operate in even the most severe weather conditions, making it ideal for conducting difficult search and rescue missions.

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Note to editors: For more information on the CH-149 Cormorant aircraft please visit Canada’s Air Force website at http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca.

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