Skip to comments.Decades-long mission to replace Sea Kings hits another snag
Posted on 07/04/2012 8:16:23 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
After more than 25 years of trying to replace the countrys fleet of Sea King maritime helicopters, the Canadian Forces have watched another deadline come and go.
Sikorsky International Operations Inc. was supposed to deliver the first of 28 state-of-the-art CH-148 Cyclones in June, after the Harper government agreed in late 2008 to extend the deadline on the $5.7-billion contract by 43 months.
In the latest in a string of missteps in military procurements, Sikorsky is pushing back on the delivery, with still no official date being offered for the completion of the contract.
Sikorsky has yet to start delivering the Cyclones, said Sébastien Bois, a spokesman for Public Works and Government Services Canada.
The Sea Kings, which are nearly 50 years old, have been famously unreliable in recent years as they were placed aboard Canadian frigates on overseas missions to places such as the Persian Gulf. The Cyclones are expected to be more effective in all types of challenging environments, with high-tech radars and sensors to patrol the worlds turbulent seas.
The purchase is the latest in a series of problematic procurements by the Canadian Forces, such as the purchase of underperforming second-hand submarines and delays in acquiring search-and-rescue planes. The biggest controversy for the Harper government to date surrounds the mishandling of the sole-sourced $15-billion deal for F-35 fighter jets, which was the subject of a hard-hitting report by the Auditor-General this spring.
(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...
While I don’t know ANYTHING about this contract other than what’s in the article I can make an educated guess here. Just like in the U.S. DOD procurement process, what started out as a relatively straight-forward program, blossomed into a do-anything be-everything program.
Visitors to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Calif. can board Nixon’s presidential helicopter—a 1961 Sea King.
I met a guy who crash landed his CH-46 on Nixon’s beach, and he said the SS was not happy.
That guy was probably a Marine. Camp Pendleton is just south of the old Western White House, and when we camped at San Clemente State Beach during Nixon's presidency, we saw Marine helicopters all the time.
By the way, I walked on Nixon's beach many times, since it was about a half a mile from the campground. From the beach one can see the gazebo where President Franklin D. Roosevelt used to play poker with a previous owner, a Democrat fat cat.
The article on Wikipedia was informative. The initial engine wasn’t powerful enough to meet spec. The new engine weighs more. There are problems with US export laws causing delays?!? So it sounds like the copter being delivered didn’t meet the original contract requirements for various reasons - and the Canadians are pissed...don’t blame em.
Simple answer: Blame Canada.
(Oh, wait, never mind - I just watched the South Park movie last night and can’t seem to get the ‘Blame Canada’ song out of my mind).
Correct answer: Blame Sikorsky
Thanks for the ping alfa6.
I find it rather amusing that the Grope and Flail tries to hint strongly that the blame is with the current government, rather than the LIEberals who cost we Canucks HALF A BILLION DOLLARS to cancel a BETTER, and already proven in service, helo.
How stupid are we?
USMC 81-85 Yeah the guy was a pilot and the gearbox or something went out and the only thing he could do is take it down fast and he did, just right onto Dick’s beach when he was home. Good story, funny as hell, here is this pilot with a full flight suit and then the SS comes out with every gun imaginable and adds to the fun.
IIRC, there was a story not too long ago about two military copters that almost came to grief when they actually hit a lake ( a civilian just happened to catch it on film)
If you’re talking about the pic at the top of this thread, they are practicing water landings. The Sea King is an amphibious aircraft and capable of landing and floating on the surface, although it’s not very stable when doing so.
Judging from the pic, I’d bet this helicopter is from the HT406 helicopter training squadron at CFB Shearwater, and the body of water is Lake Morris, just on the edge of the base. Note the yellow tape used to prevent leaks around various hatches and such, since they no longer seal all that well on their own.
The sad thing is that they were flying exactly the same helicopters 17 years ago when I worked there, and they were already overdue for replacement at that time. The Liberal governments of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin deserve all the blame, both for cancelling the EH-101 contract, and eventually for signing the contract for the Cyclones which didn’t even exist yet.
Many thanks for the indo, especially all the great little detaios, like the yellow tape. Could you explain what is meant by a “water landing?” Do you mean that this copter is designed to land on the water and float? Do the engines stop? What is the advantage of a water landing, as oposed to hovering a few feet above the surface? Thanks
Yes, look at the front of the bird. You don't stop the engines. Landing and water taxi are easier than hovering a few feet above, but it all depends on the conditions. Now that the AC is so old that the seals are worn, they use the tape. The water landing is part of the training syllabus.
The post above this one basically covers it. I’m not actually sure what circumstances would indicate a water landing. From what I understand they keep the engines running and some lift applied, as the Sea King (like pretty much all choppers) is very top heavy and could easily tip over if the pilot depended on just the hull and pontoons to keep it upright.
I remember reading in a Canadian Forces magazine when I worked there of a pilot who was having trouble with one of the engines, put the chopper down on the water, keeping the rotor turning and producing some lift to keep it from tipping over, while they worked on solving the issues with the one engine. They got the problem resolved and were able to lift off again.
They were using the yellow tape when I worked there in ‘95, and I’m pretty sure the seals haven’t gotten any better since then. Also, those training choppers make a LOT of water landings, so a little help for the seals is probably a good idea. The ones they carry on the Navy’s ships don’t have that tape on them. Actually, the Sea Kings used at the training squadron are some of the oldest, most tired ones in the fleet.