8-Sep-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
The Canadian air force faces an issue as their order of 28 new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters from Sikorksy Aircraft has been projected to only be completed in 2025. Earlier agreements had said that the order of the new fleet would be done by 2022. This new addition in time creates a problem as the new fleet will only arrive seven years after the retirement of the CH-124 Sea King helicopters, which have been operating for over 50 years now. This leaves the Canadian military woefully short.
Fortunately, the country’s navy fleet is also lacking, having to retire two supply ships, two destroyers, one Tribal destroyer ship was let go due to budget cuts and now a fourth warship is about to be retired. As reported by the CBC, if the navy carefully plans their resources, they might have enough helicopters between them.
An initial deadline was 2008 but Sikorsky Aircraft missed that deadline. In 2013 they began to rethink their decision to replace their fleet, but stuck with their decision and announced the retirement of the Sea Kings due in 2015. Another deadline given was 2018 for the arrival of their new fleet, yet this too was not met. Instead they were promised 12 operational helicopters with the basic operating systems in place by 2018, with the remaining 16 coming in between then and 2021. Then remaining four years will consist of training personnel and getting the fleet operational by government standards.