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L3Harris to enhance SAR imaging capability for Canadian Air Force helicopters

Canada Cormorant SAR upgrade
Canadian defense ministry file photo

L3Harris Technologies has secured a deal with Leonardo and IMP Group Limited to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CH-149 Cormorant SAR helicopters with WESCAM MX-15 electro-optical/infrared systems.

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 16 Leonardo CH-149 Cormorant Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters is set to receive an upgrade with four WESCAM MX-15 electro-optical/infrared systems, as stated by L3Harris.

The systems will contribute to the Cormorant mid-life upgrade program, providing improved image sensor technology for 20-year-old helicopters.

Following its implementation, the fleet will be brought up to par with the requirements of military and search and rescue aviation standards.

“Search and rescue missions demand the most from our EO/IR technologies,” said Kristin Houston, president, Electro-Optical, L3Harris.

“We are proud that our long relationship with the RCAF has contributed to the safety of Canadians from sea to sea. We are committed to enabling Canadian and international SAR operators to save more lives.”

The WESCAM MX-15 system is designed to enhance stabilization, offer high-definition infrared imaging, and enable high-elevation rescues, even in extreme weather conditions, rough seas, and Arctic environments.

With a history of over 25 years, the Canadian-made WESCAM MX-15 system by L3Harris continues to be the go-to imaging technology for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). It is already integrated into various RCAF platforms, including the CH-146 and CH-147, as well as the CH-149 and CC-295 search and rescue (SAR) platforms.