Boeing Joins Team Cormorant for Canadian Maritime Patrol Helicopter Project
(Source : Boeing Co.)


MONTREAL --- The Boeing Company is joining Team Cormorant in offering the ideal multi-role, low-cost, low-risk solution for Canada's maritime helicopter needs, the companies announced today.
Team Cormorant is composed of Boeing, Agusta of Italy and GKN Westland Helicopters Limited of the United Kingdom, two of the world's major helicopter manufacturers. Agusta and GKN Westland as the original Team Cormorant members have already been selected by the Canadian government to provide 15 search and rescue helicopters.
The Canadian government could name a winning team for the maritime helicopter project late next year or in early 2001.
Boeing will provide a proven, flexible, state-of-the-art maritime patrol mission system that integrates sensors, weapons and other systems using commercial off-the-shelf technology and based on Open System Architecture.
"This is a very exciting development for the Cormorant program. Boeing brings to the team a proven, internationally recognized track record of more than 20 years' experience in designing and developing advanced maritime mission systems. The Cormorant mission system is derived from the Boeing system developed for the United Kingdom's Nimrod MRA 4 Maritime Patrol Program,'' said Frank Bamford, head of Region-Americas for GKN Westland.
The Cormorant mission system provided by Boeing performs maritime patrol missions ranging from under-sea and surface surveillance through littoral missions, exclusive economic zone surveillance and defense, including fisheries patrol, search and rescue and command and control operations.
The Boeing Company has developed a leading edge software system that permits the use of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) operating system software to provide more effective and affordable, world class maritime patrol and surveillance platforms. This open system enables the customer to plug and play various sensors and systems into a developed, low cost, low risk, standardized framework.
"Married with the Cormorant helicopter platform, this approach will meet budgetary and mission needs thereby avoiding costly and high risk development programs unique to the Canadian application,'' said Tom Gubala, Boeing vice president and general manager of Information and Surveillance Systems. "At Boeing, we have a long history of delivering leading technology, quality products and logistics support to Canadian customers. The Boeing Company and Canada have been business partners for the past 80 years,'' Gubala added.
Boeing is one of the largest aerospace companies in Canada, owning and operating three manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg, Toronto and Arnprior, Ont., which together generate 4,000 direct jobs and are a significant contributor of rewarding, high tech jobs to the Canadian economy. Yearly purchases by Boeing within Canada have increased to approximately $1.9 billion, creating more than 32,000 jobs with 254 suppliers across Canada.
"In addition to the Boeing COTS advantage and the creation of new Canadian jobs and high technology transfer and future opportunities at existing facilities in Canada, we will work to maximize Canadian job content and high technology employment, transfer technology to Canadian industry partners, deliver extensive industrial regional benefits to all regions of Canada,'' Gubala said. "We also will select Canadian sensors and products wherever possible, develop follow-on international sales opportunities for Canadian industry partners and create indigenous life-cycle product support capability.''
The Cormorant helicopter, designed to respond to highly demanding all-weather operational requirements, offers cost-effective and dependable performance. Powered by three engines to enhance reliability and equipped with a full ice protection system, the Cormorant is a multi-mission helicopter, offering high speed, long range and rapid configuration change capability.
"Team Cormorant's maritime solution also provides significant cost savings to Canada through commonality with the Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter. A common Cormorant maritime and search and rescue fleet will be a significant factor in saving hundreds of millions of dollars for the Canadian taxpayer over the life of the program,'' said Gabriele Galleazzi, sales manager -- North America for Agusta, a Finmeccanica Company.
These cost savings are derived from common maintenance, training, spares and logistics infrastructure coupled to more efficient operation of a single fleet-type of helicopter.
With international orders for 98 helicopters to date and specifically designed to replace Sea Kings, the Cormorant family of helicopters is proven, available and in service today for shipborne maritime operations with the Royal Navy and scheduled to enter service next year with the Italian Navy.
Cormorant is the world's most technologically advanced helicopter, built to operate in all weather conditions and with a range in excess of 550 nautical miles, which makes it ideal for Canada's vast territory and the challenges of the Canadian climate. Deliveries of the Search and Rescue helicopter to Canada are scheduled to begin in February 200l.

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