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Smith Myers ARTEMIS selected for Royal Canadian Air Force Cormorant SAR Helicopter mid-life upgrade

A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant flying near Canadian Forces Base Greenwood, Nova Scotia, Canada photo credit: Atlantic Aviation Media

Project awarded to Leonardo for 16 aircraft in total, comprising 13 existing Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopter (CSH) currently in-service and the augmentation of a further three aircraft.

Ottawa, Canada 28 May 2024 -- Smith Myers, has announced it has been selected to be integrated on the Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopter Mid-Life Upgrade (CMLU) Project. The Smith Myers' ARTEMIS Mobile Phone Detection Location System has been chosen to be a key component of the upgrade.

The CMLU Project aims to transition Canada’s AW101/CH-149 “Cormorant” SAR helicopter fleet to the latest standard, aligning with Norway's SAR capabilities – which also selected Smith Myers ARTEMIS system. 

The Canadian Department of National Defence awarded the substantial $1 billion CAN (€690 million) contract to Leonardo for the CMLU Project, covering 16 aircraft, including the augmentation of three additional Cormorant helicopters. This investment will not only enhance the fleet's systems and technologies but also ensure compliance with emerging airspace requirements, extending the helicopters' life expectancy to 2042+.

Smith Myers' ARTEMIS Mobile Phone Detection Location System is a critical addition to the CMLU, contributing to the overall effectiveness of search and rescue operations. This innovative technology enables precise mobile phone detection, enhancing location accuracy and reducing search times. The result is a more efficient and focused rescue effort, enabling "less search and more rescue." 

“Being selected to be part of this important mid-life search and rescue (SAR) upgrade and as the Mobile Phone Detection, Communication and Location system of choice for the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force), across fixed and rotary wing platforms is a great honour,” said Andrew Munro, Managing Director. 

“We are excited to be part of this transformative project and to contributing to the advancement of search and rescue capabilities for the RCAF. ARTEMIS stands as a testament to Smith Myers' commitment to providing cutting-edge solutions that make a positive impact in critical operations,” he added.

Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, emphasized the impact of the CMLU program on providing the RCAF with an advanced, all-weather search and rescue 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. 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.

ARTEMIS has been in active service saving lives around the world since 2017.  The growing global customer base includes multiple programmes in the UK, Europe, North America, South America, South East Asia, Australia and The Middle East.  

Note to Editors: 

About Smith Myers www.smithmyers.com 

Smith Myers Communications Ltd is a multi-award-winning UK company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and support of application specific cellular network and handset capabilities for Network Operators, Government Agencies, Law Enforcement, Military, and Search and Rescue organisations. Awards include the King’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation 2024; Royal Aeronautical Society Silver Medal; ADS Security Innovation Awards, British Engineering Excellence Award, and ICCA (International Critical Communications) Award. 

About ARTEMIS https://smithmyers.com/artemis-capability/  

ARTEMIS can quickly identify and accurately locate mobile telephones at extended ranges up to 35Km and even where there is no cellular network present.  ARTEMIS provides unique capabilities such as mass-mapping, geofencing, country filtering and more, which lead to more rapid positive outcomes, even in low light/IMC conditions.  ARTEMIS is not a DF system but uses cellular (2G/3G/4G/5G) protocols to interact with, geolocate and communicate with the handsets.  ARTEMIS operates stand-alone with no involvement from the cellular networks.

About Leonardo www.leonardo.com 

Leonardo is a global industrial group that builds technological capabilities in Aerospace, Defence & Security. The company plays a prominent role in major international strategic programmes and is a trusted technological partner of governments, defence agencies, institutions and enterprises. 

About Leonard Helicopters www.helicopters.leonardo.com   

Leonardo is a global industrial group, among the main global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security that realises multi-domain technological capabilities in Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space. With over 53,000 employees worldwide, the company has a solid industrial presence in Italy, the UK, Poland and the US. It also operates in 150 countries through subsidiaries, joint ventures, and investments. A key player in major international strategic programmes, it is a technological and industrial partner of governments, defence administrations, institutions, and companies.

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