On the Availability of the CH149 Cormorant Fleet in an Ideal Sparing Situation: Studying the SAR Stanby Aircraft Availability Performance Measure at Different Fleet Sizes


  1. Pall, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN);Department of National Defence, Ottawa ONT (CAN) Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel);Directorate Materiel Group Operational Research, Ottawa Ont (CAN)
The CH149 Cormorant is the Canadian Forces (CF) designation for the AgustaWestland EH101, the Air Force’s only dedicated search and rescue (SAR) helicopter. Since entering service in 2002, the availability of the CH149 fleet has been less than what was initially predicted. This study was undertaken to determine if the current fleet of CH149 aircraft could possibly operate from four Main Operating Bases (MOBs) in an ideal sparing situation, and to determine if the low serviceability of the fleet was due to its maintenance programmes. All activities that aircraft perform other than flying were determined, along with their durations and frequencies. A discrete-event simulation model was created to determine the number of aircraft available at any given time during a simulation run, assuming an ideal sparing situation. The performance measure pertaining to SAR standby aircraft availability in the model was then compared to its desired level. It was found that at least 25 or 19 aircraft are required if four or three bases are desired, respectively. If there was a 25% reduction in the durations of the major, minor, and out-ofsequence inspections of the aircraft, these numbers would be reduced to 20 and 15 aircraft, respectively. These results imply that the fleet’s availability problem (of not meeting the target range for the performance measure) cannot theoretically be solved simply by addressing the availability of the spares – the demands of the fleet’s maintenance progr

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National Procurement (Materiel);CH149;Cormorant;SAR;Fleet Size;Arena;Discrete event simulation;Availability
Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2008-11 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jun 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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