OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2012) - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced that the Government of Canada is setting the stage for the purchase of new helicopters for the Canadian Coast Guard.
A Letter of Interest to invite aerospace representatives to an Industry Day has been posted on MERX, the government's contracting website, in order to begin engaging potential contractors in the procurement process. In line with other major federal procurement projects, the Canadian Coast Guard will work with Public Works and Government Services Canada to engage industry early and often throughout the procurement process.
"Helicopter air-support is a crucial component to the delivery of Coast Guard services and the maintenance of public safety," said Minister Ashfield. "Renewing the Canadian Coast Guard fleet of helicopters will stimulate economic growth in the aerospace industry, as well as create a variety of jobs and business opportunities."
"I am pleased that we will be engaging with industry to help the Canadian Coast Guard define and provide the best equipment for our men and women in the field," said Minister Ambrose.
The Canadian Coast Guard helicopter project aims to procure up to 24 helicopters over the next five years to renew the capability of its existing fleet of helicopters and support the future missions of Canada's new Polar Icebreaker, CCGS John G. Diefenbaker.
The Canadian Coast Guard's helicopter fleet supports several programs that contribute to the safety, national security and sovereignty of Canadians. Helicopter missions include everything from flying to remote sites in Canada to support construction and maintenance of Coast Guard communication sites to providing at-sea support for ice monitoring. The new helicopters will also be easier to operate and maintain and are expected to have a service life of roughly thirty years.
The Government's investment in helicopters will ensure the Canadian Coast Guard can continue to carry out its mandate and maintain vital services at sea or from any one of Coast Guard's locations serving Canadians across the country.
The federal Government has announced it wants to buy as many as 24 new helicopters for the Canadian Coast Guard. Up to 22 of those would be to replace Coast Guard's fleet of aging choppers, while two additional helicopters are earmarked for future missions aboard Canada's new polar icebreaker, CCGS John G. Diefenbaker. The Canadian Coast Guard and its federal partners will meet with industry later this summer to discuss the needs of the project.
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