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Canadian military helicopter reported missing while operating in Mediterranean

Last Updated Apr 29, 2020 at 8:01 pm PDT

A Canadian military Griffon helicopter flies along the shoreline of Baffin Island as it moves personnel between Operation Nanook and Iqaluit, Tuesday August 26, 2014. A new report says Canada's military is doing a much better job of protecting Arctic sovereignty in an increasingly busy North than Canadians think. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Defence officials are scrambling following reports a Canadian military helicopter has gone missing while participating in a NATO operation in the Mediterranean Sea.

Greek TV says the helicopter, which is believed to have been one of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s new Cyclones, went missing in the sea between Greece and Italy while operating off a Canadian frigate.

A NATO spokeswoman confirmed an incident involving a helicopter from a ship under NATO command and says a search-and-rescue operation is underway, but did not reveal the nationality of the aircraft or vessels.

HMCS Fredericton left Halifax for a six-month deployment around Europe in January with a Cyclone on board, which included a port call in Italy in March.

The military’s 18 Cyclone helicopters carry four-person crews and first began flying real missions in late 2018 after more than a decade of developmental challenges and delays.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press