The Canadian Government and Sikorsky have agreed on a revised delivery arrangement and in-service support contract for the delayed CH-148 Cyclone helicopter project.
Ordered in November 2004 to replace the CH-124 Sea King in Royal Canadian Navy service, the first CH-148 was scheduled to have been delivered in 2008. But ongoing integration issues with the machine’s complex avionics and sensor suites and weight growth saw the contract amended in 2008 and again in 2010, without any helicopters being delivered.
This latest agreement is the fourth time the contract has been renegotiated, and will see just eight CH-148s delivered in an interim configuration in 2015 so the oldest Sea Kings can be retired. The cost of the acquisition contract, valued at C$1.9 billion is reportedly unchanged from the amount originally agreed upon, but no date has been published as to when the full capability is expected to be delivered.
The CH-148 is a development of the H-92 airframe, and will serve as an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and search and rescue aircraft aboard Royal Canadian Navy frigates and destroyers.