A CH148 Cyclone helicopter from 12 Wing Shearwater, N.S., recently conducted its first anti-submarine warfare (ASW) events with Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarine (HMCS) Windsor off the coast of Nova Scotia.
The exercise was linked to an ongoing Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) being conducted by the Helicopter Test and Evaluation Facility (HOTEF) at 12 Wing Shearwater.
ASW is a component of underwater warfare that employs surface warships, aircraft and other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines. This was the first time a Cyclone has engaged in such activity, representing an important milestone in the evolution of this new aircraft which provides wings for the fleet and state-of-the-art air power for the Royal Canadian Air Force.
According to Major Erik Weigelin, a pilot with HOTEF, the Cyclone’s sonobuoy processing system was tested to detect and track HMCS Windsor using passive sonobuoys.
“This system allows us to track submarines without making any active noise, thereby denying the submarine knowledge of the helicopter’s location or potentially even the fact that they are being tracked at all. ASW by use of sonobuoys can be very challenging, but having Windsor as a target allowed the crews to hone our equipment and develop a solid baseline of performance for the tracking of real submarine targets,” stated Maj Weigelin.
When Windsor was otherwise tasked, CH148 crews employed Expendable Mobile ASW Training Targets (EMATTs) to simulate submarine movements and noise patterns, which allowed HOTEF crews to further develop those tactical procedures that will be used by operational crews following CH148 Release to Service.
According to Maj Weigelin, “Accurate and effective initial equipment settings, in combination with clear, concise and easily repeatable procedures, is key to maximizing the crews’ effectiveness in challenging tactical situations. These procedures need to be trained and practised to ensure peak operational capability of front-line crews once they are deployed with the Cyclone.”
During their week at sea, CH148 crews conducted 16 hours of embarked OT&E with HMCS Montréal, the first ship to support a HOTEF Detachment. The purpose of ongoing OT&E is to continue to assess the aircraft’s combat effectiveness, develop tactical procedures, and validate doctrine before the new maritime helicopter can be turned over to front-line squadrons.
A CH148 will progress planned OT&E by participating in combined warfare exercises in the Atlantic Ocean from late October to mid-November.
- Babcock takes delivery of another new S92
- Sikorsky relocates and expands parts stock in Brazil
- Milestone grows S92 fleet to 95 Helicopters
- Canada Certifies Increased Gross Weight for S-92
- Thai Aviation Services begins S-92 helicopter training
- Bristow UK Secures Contract to Support TAQA’s UK Operations
- Sikorsky Advances iFly Sikorsky™
- Sikorsky delivers 300th S92
- CHC introduces AW189 in Australia
- Sonar problem stops Canadian S92 deck landings
- Science Channel to feature S92 in new Mega Machines series
- S92 Helicopters Certified to Operate in Mexico
- Bristow Norway wins five year contracts for two S92s
- Sikorsky complete first year of S92 spares centre in Norway
- Thai Aviation Services picks Skytrac for S76D and S92 fleet
- EASA approves Outerlink Flight Data Monitoring system for S92
- JSSI Enrolls Sikorsky S92 onto Tip-to-Tail Program
- HeliOffshore develops S92 tail rotor pitch guidance
- Bristow adds offshore AW189 in UK – impacts SAR fleet too
- Bristow transitions Prestwick SAR base from S92 to AW189