National Defense | The modernization of the helicopter fleet will cost 1.24 billion

(OTTAWA) Canada plans to spend $1.24 billion modernizing its military helicopter fleet for search and rescue operations, at least $200 million more than originally planned.

National Defense Minister Anita Anand and Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek announced Thursday afternoon that the contract to upgrade the Cormorant helicopter fleet would be awarded to a single company.

The federal government had been planning to modernize its fleet for several years. It intends to improve the performance of its 13 existing devices and add three more.

Negotiations between Canada and the Cormorant builder, the Leonardo company, broke down in 2019. The government deemed the European company’s proposal to be exorbitant.

He had projected a budget of 1.03 billion when the project was announced in 2018.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defense, Jessica Lamirande, explained that the budget had been increased following a new negotiation. The new sum takes into account inflation, changes in foreign exchange rates and new requirements.

Note to readers: Corrected version. A previous version indicated that Canada plans to spend up to $1.8 billion to modernize its military helicopter fleet, nearly double what was originally planned. In fact, Canada plans to spend $1.24 billion, about $200 million more than originally planned.

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