Canadian military helicopter reported missing while operating in Mediterranean

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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.