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Supporting the RCAF for more than 25 Years with L3Harris’ WESCAM MX™-Series

Integrated Mission Systems
Mar 28, 2024 | 3 MINUTE Read

From the authorization of the RCAF on April 1, 1924, the squadron engaging the Luftwaffe in battle in 1940, supporting international security forces in Afghanistan to providing critical aid to Canadians across the country during floods and storms, the RCAF has demonstrated time and time again its unique and formidable place in the world and at home. 

L3Harris has been a strong supporter of the RCAF through multiple technology offerings and service support across multiple Canadian sites. From manufacturing to maintenance, the company has provided the RCAF advanced capabilities to modernize its fleets.

“We take immense pride as a trusted partner of the Royal Canadian Air Force for over 75 years. Congratulations on a century of service, sacrifice and dedication. L3Harris looks forward to continuing our legacy of collaboration and unwavering support,” said Rich Foster, Vice President, Canada.

Manufactured in Canada at its state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton, Ontario, L3Harris’ WESCAM MX™-15 has equipped the RCAF with superior electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) imaging technology for more than 25 years. WESCAM MX™-Series systems provide critical situational awareness on leading RCAF platforms including the CH-146 and CH-147, and aboard the CH-149 and CC-295 Search and Rescue platforms. 

“L3Harris celebrates 100 years of service for the Royal Canadian Air Force. We are thankful and proud to contribute to their legacy and support their mission,” said Tom Kirkland, Vice President and General Manager, Global Optical Systems, L3Harris Technologies. 

L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-Series EO/IR systems have provided critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities on RCAF platforms including:

RCAF plane collage

Some images courtesy of Airbus and GA-ASI. Use of U.S. DoD visual information does not imply 
or constitute DoD endorsement.

CFUTTH, CH-146 Griffon - WESCAM Model 16 and WESCAM MX™-15
The Canadian Forces’ Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter (CFUTTH), also known as the CH-146 Griffon, specializing in tactical transportation of troops and equipment for search and rescue missions, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), evacuations and special missions. The CFUTTH was first equipped with the WESCAM Model 16 in 1994 on 21 aircraft, providing enhanced situational awareness. In 2008, 22 WESCAM MX-15 EO/IR systems were delivered for the CH146, providing an increased sensor payload and advanced image processing. 

CP-140 Aurora - WESCAM MX™-20
Canada’s CP-140 Aurora is a strategic, long-range patrol aircraft for maritime and land-based missions. The Aurora’s capabilities make it ideal for a variety of missions include overall operations management, ISR, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, strike coordination and search and rescue. In 2003, 27 units of L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-20 allow the CP-140 to operate at medium to high-altitudes with enhanced imaging and tracking capabilities. 

CH-147 Chinook – WESCAM MX™-15
A tactical and multi-mission, medium-to-heavy-lift helicopter, the CH-147 Chinook is used to transport troops and equipment on both domestic and deployed missions, supporting the Canadian Army, special operations and other agencies. The aircraft is equipped with numerous defence capabilities including radar and laser warning systems, as well as a long-range fuel system. In 2010, the L3Harris’ provided 19 WESCAM MX-15 EO/IR sensor systems to enhance the platform’s defensive capabilities. 

CC-295 Kingfisher – WESCAM MX™-15
The Canadian Force’s CC-295 Kingfisher is a highly capable fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, with the entire fleet stations across the country to effectively respond to the population’s needs. Thanks to L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-15 and its high-performance image processing and suite of IR sensors, the Kingfisher as increased long-range sighting capabilities in all weather conditions including reduced visibility. In 2017, 22 EO/IR sighting systems provided increased sight performance to the Kingfisher fleet.

CH-149 Cormorant – WESCAM MX™-15
The CH-149 Cormorant is a long-range search and rescue helicopter designed to operate in severe conditions, equipped with advanced flight systems that provide a stable hover. In 2022, L3Harris provided WESCAM MX-15 EO/IR systems to the RCAF as part of the Cormorant Mid-Life Upgrade program. The sensor system’s advance stabilization and high-definition imaging aid the RCAF in completing high-elevation rescues in extreme weather conditions, over rough seas and in the Arctic with increased effectiveness and situational awareness. 

MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPAS - WESCAM MX™-20D
Canada’s fleet of MQ-9B SkyGuardian® RPAS equipped with L3Harris’ WESCAM MX-20D will provide a significant advancement in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities across Canada’s vast and harsh territorial landscape and environments, including the arctic. The company is providing 11 state-of-the-art WESCAM MX-20D EO/IR sensor systems for Canada’s fleet of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). Delivery of L3Harris’ systems for integration is scheduled to start in 2024 with the first aircraft delivery to the RCAF expected in 2028.

Translation to French-Canadian

  • Un soutien à l’ARC depuis plus de 25 ans grâce à la série WESCAM MX™ de L3Harris

RCAF Centennial Editorial Series

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