The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter program for the Canadian Forces has been renegotiated for a second time after continuing software development delays meant an interim capability delivery target for later this year is unlikely to be met.
Twenty-eight CH-148s, a Canadian specific version of Sikorsky’s H-92, were ordered in 2004 to replace Canada’s ageing ship-borne Sea Kings, with first delivery due in 2009. The contract was ‘re-baselined’ in 2008 after it became clear the 2009 delivery target wouldn’t be met, at which time it was agreed six helicopters would be delivered by November 2010 in an ‘interim’ configuration for initial training and operational test evaluation.
While it is hoped some machines will still be delivered this year, they will not have fully compliant mission system software, according to a report in Aviation Week. The report says definitive capability specification aircraft are currently scheduled to be delivered from June 2012, but both the interim and all-up capability delivery dates will be subject to damages claims if not met.