Canada — Maritime Helicopter Project: Status

Fact Sheet

The Mar­itime Heli­copter (MH) project is a com­plex pro­gram that involves the deliv­ery of 28 state-of-the-art, com­bat-capa­ble CH-148 Cyclone heli­copters, asso­ci­at­ed logis­ti­cal and in-ser­vice sup­port, and spare parts. The project also includes mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the Hal­i­fax-class ships and con­struc­tion of a new train­ing facil­i­ty equipped with a full train­ing suite of flight, mis­sion and main­te­nance sim­u­la­tors.

The new CH-148 Cyclone, in its final con­fig­u­ra­tion, will be at the fore­front of mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy and one of the most capa­ble mar­itime heli­copters in the world.

Chronol­o­gy of Events

  • Novem­ber 2004: The Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da announced the sign­ing of two sep­a­rate but inter­re­lat­ed con­tracts with Siko­rsky Inter­na­tion­al Oper­a­tions Inc. (Siko­rsky) for the Mar­itime Heli­copter Project.
    • Acqui­si­tion: The first con­tract, worth $1.8 bil­lion, was for 28 ful­ly inte­grat­ed, cer­ti­fied and qual­i­fied heli­copters with their mis­sion sys­tems installed, to replace the Cana­di­an Forces’ CH-124 Sea King heli­copter fleet. Deliv­ery of the first heli­copter was expect­ed in Novem­ber 2008.
    • Maintenance/Infrastructure: The sec­ond con­tract, val­ued at $3.2 bil­lion, was for 20-years of in-ser­vice sup­port for the heli­copters, and includ­ed a sim­u­la­tor, train­ing suite, and the con­struc­tion of a train­ing facil­i­ty.
  • Jan­u­ary 2008: Siko­rsky for­mal­ly claimed for sched­ule relief because of “excus­able delays,” there­by advis­ing the gov­ern­ment of a delay in the planned deliv­ery date.
  • Decem­ber 2008: Pub­lic Works and Gov­ern­ment Ser­vices Cana­da (PWGSC), along with the Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence (DND), worked toward res­o­lu­tion with Siko­rsky. The con­tract was amend­ed to reflect a new, tiered sched­ule with deliv­ery of inter­im heli­copters begin­ning in Novem­ber 2010, and deliv­ery of ful­ly com­pli­ant heli­copters begin­ning in June 2012. As a result of the con­tract amend­ment, the new con­tract val­ues were now $1.9 bil­lion for acqui­si­tion and $3.4 bil­lion for long term in-ser­vice sup­port.
  • Fall 2009: Siko­rsky advised the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da of poten­tial dif­fi­cul­ties deliv­er­ing an inter­im heli­copter with ful­ly com­pli­ant mis­sion sys­tems soft­ware by Novem­ber 2010.
  • February/March 2010: The first round of Ship/Helicopter Oper­at­ing Lim­i­ta­tions (SHOL) tri­als was suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed. The objec­tive of the SHOL tri­als was to test and val­i­date the design of the ship mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the hangar and flight deck for Cyclone com­pat­i­bil­i­ty. These tri­als also demon­strat­ed and deter­mined safe flight para­me­ters for future ship/helicopter oper­a­tions, and devel­oped stan­dard oper­at­ing pro­ce­dures.
  • June 30, 2010: The con­tract was amend­ed for a sec­ond time and both the gov­ern­ment and Siko­rsky agreed that Cana­da would take deliv­ery of the first six inter­im heli­copters with a pre­lim­i­nary ver­sion of the mis­sion soft­ware start­ing on Novem­ber 30, 2010. There was no change in con­tract val­ues asso­ci­at­ed with this amend­ment.
  • Fall 2010: Siko­rsky advised the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da that there would be fur­ther delays to the deliv­ery of the inter­im mar­itime heli­copters.
  • January/February 2011: The sec­ond round of Ship/Helicopter Oper­at­ing Lim­i­ta­tions (SHOL) tri­als was suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed. The objec­tive of the SHOL2 tri­als was to con­tin­ue eval­u­a­tion on the CH-148 and Hal­i­fax Class ship avi­a­tion facil­i­ties com­pat­i­bil­i­ty, and to devel­op launch-recov­ery, ver­ti­cal replen­ish­ment, heli­copter in flight refu­elling, res­cue hoist, and deck-han­dling under the very demand­ing sea state con­di­tions that will be expe­ri­enced when the Cyclone enters oper­a­tional ser­vice.
  • May 12, 2011: The first inter­im heli­copter arrived at 12 Wing Shear­wa­ter as part of Sikorsky’s con­trac­tu­al oblig­a­tion to deliv­er ini­tial train­ing to Cana­di­an Forces per­son­nel. The inter­im heli­copter will remain under Siko­rsky title and con­trol until all con­trac­tu­al deliv­ery require­ments have been met.
    • This heli­copter is being used by Siko­rsky as a ground-based aid to sup­port train­ing of tech­ni­cians, allow­ing tech­ni­cians to con­duct hands-on prac­ti­cal train­ing for var­i­ous main­te­nance tasks, such as trou­bleshoot­ing, com­po­nent removal and instal­la­tion, as well as post-main­te­nance func­tion­al checks to ensure prop­er oper­a­tion of air­craft sys­tems. The air­craft will also be used to con­duct main­te­nance demon­stra­tions, which are a con­trac­tu­al require­ment, to val­i­date main­te­nance pro­ce­dures and sup­port sys­tems.
    • Cur­rent Sta­tus: DND con­tin­ues to close­ly mon­i­tor progress towards achiev­ing all deliv­ery require­ments for the inter­im mar­itime heli­copters, as well as the poten­tial impact on the sched­ule for deliv­ery of the final ver­sion of the Cyclone. The Cana­di­an Forces expect to take for­mal deliv­ery of the inter­im mar­itime heli­copters lat­er this sum­mer.


This is a liv­ing doc­u­ment and will be updat­ed as future mile­stones are achieved with­in the MH project.

Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence, Cana­da