Bell Helicopter joins Team Cormoranthttp://defence-data.com/storypic/merlin4.jpg [not image]
16 March 2000
Bell Helicopter Textron is joining Team Cormorant for the forthcoming Maritime Patrol Helicopter competition to replace the Canadian Forces Sea King helicopters. Should the Government of Canada select Team Cormorant to provide Canada's new maritime helicopters, final assembly of the Cormorant will take place at Bell Helicopter Textron facilities located in Mirabel, Quebec.
To replace Canada's maritime Sea Kings, Team Cormorant will offer a variant of the Cormorant Helicopter already selected by the Canadian Government to replace the Labrador Search and Rescue helicopters. The first Cormorant Search and Rescue helicopter will enter service in Canada early in 2001.
The Cormorant is based on the EH 101 family of helicopters developed jointly by Agusta and GKN Westland. Merlin Mk 1 will replace Sea Kings in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy and will enter service this year for the Italian Navy.,
"Today's agreement demonstrates Team Cormorant's ongoing commitment to the Canadian aerospace industry by offering Canada the choice of the world's most advanced multi-role, mission-flexible helicopter with final assembly made in Canada,'' said Giuseppe Orsi, General Manager of Agusta.
In addition to the two founding partners, Agusta and GKN Westland, Team Cormorant also includes The Boeing Company, one of the largest aerospace companies in Canada. Boeing will provide a maritime patrol mission system that integrates sensors, weapons and other systems for the Cormorant Maritime Helicopter.
"This is a very exciting commitment by Team Cormorant for Bell Helicopter Textron's aerospace facilities in Canada. Should Canada select the Cormorant Maritime Helicopter, this will result in some 1,000 person-years of work to complete final assembly at our Mirabel operations,'' said Paul Costanzo, President of Bell Helicopter Textron, a Division of Textron Canada Ltd