|CH-148. Better late than never...|
It's years late, still doesn't work right, and its manufacturer wants us to take delivery anyway.
No. Not the F-35.
After briefly teasing that it may restart the already once restarted procurement process to replace the CH-124 Sea Kings, the Federal Government has announced that it will continue as planned with the CH-148 Cyclone procurement. This, despite technical difficulties causing the Cyclone to miss its intended 2008 start date. The government's press release states that it intends to have fully functioning helicopters as of 2018, a full ten years late.
(Fun fact: In journalism, if an entity releases a statement on a Friday afternoon, that means it's bad or embarrassing news that they hope will blow over slightly by the time everybody is back to work on Monday.)
|Not dead yet. CH-124 Sea King.|
I guess the good news is that Sikorsky has agreed to deliver the CH-148 with "no additional costs" added. So... There's that. Ten years late, but on budget.
We will have to see if this translates to Canada's fighter jet purchase. Reading between the lines, Sikorsky is willing to eat the additional costs to develop the Cyclone. This option isn't available on the F-35, since U.S. law forbids Lockheed Martin to sell the JSF at a discount, since ol' Uncle Sam is paying the development costs.
Perhaps that is Canada's "line in the sand" when it comes to modern military procurement. Overdue or under-performing is okay... As long as it comes in on budget.