Today, the Government of Canada announced that it has completed all required amendments to both the acquisition and long-term in-service support contracts with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for the acquisition and maintenance of 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). These contract amendments are further to the Principles of Agreement announced in January 2014.
The amended acquisition will ensure the delivery of helicopters with operational capability to begin retirement of the Sea Kings in 2015, and a program to enhance those capabilities culminating in a fully capable CH-148 maritime helicopter beginning in 2018.
In its final configuration, the CH-148 Cyclone will be one of the most capable maritime helicopters in the world, and at the forefront of modern technology. It will be capable of a full range of search and rescue and utility missions in challenging environments. The CH-148 Cyclone will also be fully interoperable in a modern battle space, and will be able to concurrently conduct a full spectrum of anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare in hostile, high-threat environments.
The Government of Canada engaged the services of an independent third party—Hitachi Consulting—to review and assess the viability of the Maritime Helicopter Project. The third-party expert confirmed the viability of the project under a new governance structure and phased delivery of the maritime helicopters. With the contract now completed, Hitachi Consulting will continue to oversee aspects of the implementation plan, ensuring that delivery times remain as promised for the RCAF.
As previously announced, payment will be issued to Sikorsky only upon capability delivery.
- The total budget of $1.9 billion for the acquisition of the 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters has not changed.
- The budget for in-service support (including the amendments to the contract) totals $5.7 billion.
- The project is being implemented under a new governance model, including integrated teams from Sikorsky and Canada, supported by Hitachi Consulting.
- The amendment to the in-service support contract extends the term by an additional 10 years at rates based on those competed in 2004, thus generating significant value for taxpayers. This amendment ensures maintenance of the Cyclone helicopters until 2038.
“I am pleased that this contract has now been completed and that we can fulfill our Government’s commitment to begin to retire the Sea Kings in 2015, and deliver a new and leading maritime helicopter to the Royal Canadian Air Force, while respecting taxpayer dollars.”
The Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services
“Our Government is working tirelessly to provide our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need to get the job done, and these amendments are a testament to that fact. The CH-148 Cyclone will be a highly capable aircraft, making it a leading maritime helicopter.”
The Hon Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence