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Friday, June 19, 2015

First 6 of 28 CH-148 Cyclones Delivered...sort of

Defence Minister Kenney announced the RCAF's acceptance of the first 6 CH-148 Cyclones in Halifax.
(Photo: Canadian Press)

The RCAF has officially accepted delivery of 6 of the ordered 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, however they are not 100% operational. That will come with further upgrades as more aircraft are delivered. 

The next batch of helicopters will be delivered in 2018, but they too will not be 100% operational, that will not come until the final deliveries are expected in 2021. A full 10 years after the project was supposed to be complete. 

Reports released yesterday are now saying the RCAF is already worried about the amount of engine power the Cyclone is capable of producing. Stating that it produces less than the Operational Requirements called for in a replacement for the Seaking helicopters. Sikoski says the aircraft will be able to do more as upgrades become available. 

So, despite the fact that the RCAF now has 6 new helicopters in its inventory - many are left wondering, was the delivery of helicopters political? How could it not be - why accept helicopters that are not 100% operational to the requirements established in the contract? Oh right...there is an election in October. 

Fingers crossed the RCAF doesn't begin retiring the Seakings before the Cyclones are 100% operational, or SAR may take a hit in Canada.