Westland awaits Canadian helicopter decision

GKN-Westland Helicopters expects to hear shortly if it has been successful in its bid for a £270m order from the Canadian government for search-and-rescue helicopters. A Canadian defence department review team is believed to have recommended the Cormorant, the helicopter offered by Westland and its Italian partner Agusta, which together form the EHI consortium. A […]

GKN-Westland Helicopters expects to hear shortly if it has been successful in its bid for a £270m order from the Canadian government for search-and-rescue helicopters.

A Canadian defence department review team is believed to have recommended the Cormorant, the helicopter offered by Westland and its Italian partner Agusta, which together form the EHI consortium.

A decision was tipped for Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting in Ottowa, but a Westland spokesman said an announcement this week was unlikely.

The Canadian armed forces need 15 long range search and rescue helicopters. The Cormorant is a cheaper version of the EH101, which was ordered and then cancelled by the Canadians in 1993, leading to the payment of a £215m penalty to EHI.

The Cormorant faces aggressive competition from the US’s Sikorsky, offering the Maplehawk, a version of its smaller Blackhawk.