Sikorsky plans to offer Canada its S-92 civilian helicopter for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s search and rescue operations, hoping to make a case that it’s cheaper to buy new rather than upgrade the existing fleet of Leonardo’s Cormorant rotary aircraft.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is currently introducing into service the Cyclone maritime helicopter, a military variant of Sikorsky’s S-92. It also operates a fleet of 14 Cormorants for search and rescue. That helicopter, a variant of the EH-101, is built by Leonardo, formerly AgustaWestland.
The service is now working on a project to modernize its search and rescue fleet, but it has yet to decide whether to buy new aircraft or upgrade the Cormorants. Depending on its decision, the cost of the project would range from CA$500 million to CA$1.5 billion (U.S. $391 million to U.S. $1.2 billion).