UPDATE! Federal government goes ahead with Cyclone order.

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.


  1. still no guarantee that Sikorsky can deliver a working compliant helicopter. Just more time to try. Still a long list of technical deficiencies for an orphan platform used by no allies that delivers less performance than the original AW/EH 101.
    IOC 2014/15 Cyclone?
    FOC 2018 Cyclone
    What deficiencies/capabilities exist as of 2014
    What is the timetable for deficiency fixes from 2014-201
    From an airframe standard I think they will pretty much all be produced by 2015.
    What is the timetable for Sea King removal/Cyclone replacement?

  2. Doug the Cyclone is already over budget as well. The similarities with the F35 abound
    Another disturbing trend in military procurement, where is the room for attrition in numbers over time?
    If you look at the numbers
    1 Cyclone per 15 Single Class Surface Combatant = 15
    3 Cyclones per 2 Queenston Class AOR = 6
    Total of 21 not including training, spares but wait AOPS
    1 Cyclone per 6 AOPS = 6
    Total of 27 leaving 1 for training purposes, spares
    You'll notice that I already dropped the AOPS down from 8 to 6 and I think that there is an extremely small chance of delivery of 15 SCSC. The best that can be expected
    is a one to one replacement of the Halifax Class which would leave
    12 SCSC Cyclones
    6 Queenston Class Cyclones
    6 AOPS Cyclones
    4 training spares
    those are workable numbers I guess, AOR numbers could also be dropped from 3 per to 2, who really knows?


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