Ottawa won’t scrap Cyclone chopper purchase, Sea Kings to start retiring in 2015


OTTAWA – The federal government has decided not to scrap its troubled purchase of CH-148 Cyclone helicopters.

Instead, Ottawa will go ahead with its plan to acquire the maritime choppers to replace the decades-old CH-124 Sea Kings, which it will start retiring next year.

The plan to replace the 50-year-old Sea Kings — which fly from the decks of Canadian warships — is years behind schedule, millions over its original price and is apparently beset with technical glitches.

Last year, the Public Works Department indicated it was looking at other aircraft because Cyclone manufacturer Sikorsky had delivered just four test aircraft, which National Defence has refused to formally accept.

Public Works had previously asked for an independent analysis of whether Sikorsky could deliver what it promised.

The government says that report found the program to replace the Sea Kings “would be viable with a different project structure and governance model.”

A news release issued late on Friday afternoon says the air force will have fully capable Cyclone helicopters by 2018.

Public Works Minister Diane Finley said Sikorsky has agreed to deliver the new helicopters without any additional cost to the federal government.

When asked for more details, a government spokesman would only say Public Works accepts the independent analysis and referred to “negotiated Principles of Agreement with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation” that would “form the basis of formal contract negotiations that will put these recommendations into place.”

Public Works also said negotiations to amend the contract with Sikorsky will begin early this year and will hopefully be concluded by the end of March.

The original contract signed with Sikorsky in November 2004 was valued at $5 billion in total — $1.8 billion was allocated for the acquisition of the choppers and $3.2 billion was for in-service support.

The value of the contract increased in 2008 to $5.3 billion, with $1.9 billion for acquisition and $3.4 billion for in-service support.

So far, Sikorsky has accrued $88.6 million in liquidated damages for its failure to meet the contract.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version carried incorrect figures on the value of the contract.

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Ottawa won’t scrap Cyclone chopper purchase, Sea Kings to start retiring in 2015

  1. That means from this point forward this issue is owned by the Harper Government. So all the PMO trolls can stop referring to how the Libs did this and that. Your people have seen the issue and declared it workable.
    It’s a Conservative project from now on in.

    • Fine, whatever.

    • The “Cons” wouldn’t have had to make the decision if the “Libs” hadn’t cancelled the EH-101 in 93, now would they. We who where in the military in the 90’s still remember what you did back then.

      • I did nothing, so don’t be silly.
        The point was that going forward there can be no passing the buck. I know it’s a tough concept for Conservatives to understand, what with personal responsibility only applying to others and all.
        But that’s it, they, and apparently you will own this debacle.

        • so that is how you commies rationalize liberal fubars…wait till the cons take ownership of the issue and resolve the problem, thereby getting the boneheads off the hook regarding any future fubars…no wonder you all think the sun shines out of juniors butt

          • Well it’s nice too see that you think everyone who disagrees with you is a commie. Having met a few, it is clear that a knuckle dragger like you is clueless as to what the term even means.

        • By “you” John meant Liberals et al. And stop sounding like Emily.

          • Well back then I wasn’t around to be included so however he phrased it and whoever he meant it wasn’t me.

        • Chretien savaged the CF. If we had bought the CH-101 Canada would be buying ne helicopters now. His pride cost taxpayers 1/2 billion$.

          • And that still didn’t make any sense given what I typed.
            Third time coherent?

    • at least it will finally get done and our pilots can heave a sigh of relief

      • Judging by the record of this government with respect to military purchases, I wouldn’t place any money on betting it will get done.

  2. Another procurement success for the Clan of Harper! It is right up there with the F35 and ice breaker procurement. A decision which will serve us as well as the underfunded ice breakers. A decision which will protect those who go in harms way like the successful heavy transport vehicles (oops cancelled). How many soldiers died on the Afghan roads they should have been flying over? How much protection will the under performing ice breakers provide to our Arctic when they do not have the distance capability to reach it? A political decision “never admit you were wrong”

    • Don’t know about most of your questions, but I would refer you to Mr. Martin about the Afghan question.

      • I’d refer them to Chretien, Martin was stuck with Afghanistan by him. It was his predecessor and Harper who wanted to be washed in the blood of under resourced troops.
        Chretien could at least plead ignorance of what would happen, Harper did nothing with full knowledge of what had gone before..

        • The previous Conservative Mulroney government entered into a contract to procure 45 EH101 choppers. Chretien cancelled the contract and it cost the Canadian taxpayer $500 million dollars and still boneheads like harebell are trying to shift the blame to Harper….

          • Yet Chretien, when Bell Helicopters told him they were moving out of Montreal, bought the POS Griffon.

          • Can you read?
            Did you read?
            Nope you just assumed I said something I didn’t?
            No wonder you clowns are perpetually outraged, you can’t even comprehend the written word.

        • I believe it was Harper who pulled us out of ‘stan. Martin sent us to KAF. Chretien bought the Griffon to keep Bell in Montreal (it’s a POS)

          • Harper did indeed, but are you also saying he wasn’t all for being there and not cutting and running in 2006?
            History isn’t your strong point is it Bob?

    • What about them stealth snowmobiles?

    • Chretien cancelled the chopper procurement bonehead

  3. Bets we but 24 Sea Hawks in ~ 2019 to fly off of the eight frigate replacements we’ll eventually buy?

  4. Folks are still blaming Chretien for the helicopters? The mighty Harper has been Prime Minister for over 7 years and it is still the Liberals fault that his contracts are screwed up.

    • yes we are.

  5. Geezus, we could have given Bombardier the contract to design and build our Helicopters, way back then, and they’d probably be built and ready for production use, BY NOW !
    It also, would have meant jobs for Canadians too, not to mention other spin-off jobs, plus, we’d be actually designing/manufacturing and building something again, right here in Canada, and hey, maybe we could even SELL a Canadian product, once again, if it’s good enough. ?
    Oh wait, sorry, that could never happen, because that would be against Harpers “Anti-Canadian” strategy, which is against ANYTHING being technologically-designed, manufactured, developed, or built,…, in Canada, without “foreign” approval.
    That’s right, only allow “FOREIGN” Contracts, (who can also clandescently line Harpers “back” pocketeers), and notwithstanding, pay them whatever they want, out of the Canadian Taxpayers money, with no defineable paper-trail either. !

    Of course I was wroing, I mean, we would NEVER want Canada to have an “Avro” anything… ever again right?
    Ok, MY Bad !

    • AVRO? You blaming harper for the Arrow now? Was he even born then?

    • Uhhh . .. I am no Harper fan but you do realize that designing and building helicopters is a far far different thing than building passenger jets, turboprops and business jets?

      You might as well ask SJSL to build helicopters . . .