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Government Orders External Review Of CH-148  
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 14332 times:

Things are not looking so good for Sikorsky:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...replacement-contract-sikorsky.html

Quote:
Sea King helicopter replacement hits a new snag
Ottawa hires consultant to study if Sikorsky can deliver promised helicopters
By James Cudmore, CBC News Posted: Jun 25, 2013 8:25 PM ET
The decades-long project to replace Canada's 50-year-old Sea King helicopters has hit another snag, with the government now hiring an independent expert to study whether helicopter-maker Sikorsky is even capable of delivering a replacement as promised.

CBC News has learned that Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose has gone outside government and hired a consultant to study Sikorsky's work, and Canada's contract, to determine whether it's even possible for the U.S. helicopter giant to deliver the aircraft Canada ordered.

The details of the hire — or the review — are not publicly available and Ambrose's office has yet to provide more information, but Ambrose herself offered the news after questions from the CBC about Sikorsky and its contract.

"I have employed the services of an independent consultant and contractor to undertake a review of the ability of this company to deliver this to the government," Ambrose said.

The Defence Department's maritime helicopter project is the successor to the failed procurement of 50 EH-101 helicopters promised in 1992 by former prime minister Brian Mulroney. That program was cancelled in 1993 as part of an election promise made by Jean Chrétien.

For years, the program lay dormant as Canada's Sea King helicopters slowly gathered wear and tear.

In 2004, Sikorsky won a formal contract to provide 28 new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters to Canada.

The initial contract was worth $1.8 billion for aircraft, and an additional $3.2 billion for 20 years of maintenance and support.

More at the link.

Could be a prelude to more fines or even contract cancellation (or both).

76 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 14087 times:

They need to dump this turkey and order some CH-149.

We already have 14 CH-149, 9 VH-71 (lol)... there is only cost savings and fleet commonality to be found. The EH101s tail rotor hub issue has been resolved, we could probably have crews training within 6 months and first delivery in 18 months.

Heck, maybe the VH-71s can be remanufactured to CH-149s then buy additional new build airframes.

The EW-101 line is a very capable helicopter... adding another airframe to our forces that is just guzzling money to offer similar capacities as the CH-149 is quite dumb.

[Edited 2013-06-27 06:59:56]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13915 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 1):
They need to dump this turkey and order some CH-149.

This review could be a prelude to the government declaring Sikorsky in default of the contract, allowing Canada to walk away without penalty.

There has been some gold plating going on (naturally), but its hard to tell who is at fault or if they had a serious effect on the program. However the problem with the program probably can be largely laid at its outset. To meet the DND's requirements, Sikorsky offered a modification of the S-92 helicopter. This was rated as a "low risk" design. What did it entail? The replacement of the engine, avionics, rotor and other segments, addition of a fuselage plug, structural reinforcement of the airframe, the addition of weapon systems, and a bunch of other milspec things. So basically the entire aircraft was redesigned. Alot of the subsequent DND mandated changes has been in response to development problems or omissions.

In reality this was a full blown development program. Sikorsky should have never have been allowed to sell their design as an 'off the shelf' aircraft, and DND should have never accepted its characterization as one. There were several legitimate competitors that could have done the job, but of course, political considerations became a issue.

If Canada was to declare Sikorsky in default of the contract, it could have very negative repercussions for Sikorsky and LM in their bid for VXX round 2, as questions will be asked about the failure of Sikorsky in the Canadian contract as they are bidding the same airframe (and all of the current Canadian problems revolve around the airframe).


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 13269 times:

Another article detailing the political and bureaucratic wrangling over the CH-148. Selected quotes below with emphasis mine:
http://www.verticalmag.com/news/article/24552#.UeO3c22DkUC

Quote:
Evidently, the main issue was that DND considered the aircraft to be "non-developmental," in that it would rely on "off the shelf" technologies. In fact, it was anything but. In her Fall 2010 report to Parliament, Auditor General Sheila Fraser said it was obvious that the Cyclone procurement would be complex. Sikorsky had to convert its civil S-92 to military standards, marinize it, and integrate new components and technologies. "National Defence has, in effect, entered into an agreement . . . to develop a new helicopter, and this should have been reflected in project risk assessments and in information provided to decision-makers."

Fraser also pointed out that the PWGSC-managed pre-qualification process required bidders to submit "proof of compliance" for 476 of the 3,000 technical requirements that were deemed high risk. But there was absolutely "no consideration" of off-the-shelf solutions, a shortcoming the Office of the Auditor General suggested put the program at "significant technical risk associated with the developmental nature of this helicopter."

A veteran Sea King pilot and senior officer – one of those whose entire career held the promise of new helicopters – told Vertical that the program has "always been very political" as the government's requirements evolved. He said that when Prime Minister Jean Chretien pulled the plug on the EHI contract in 1993, operational specifications for the new project were initially scaled back by a third, evidently in the hopes of quickly restarting the competition by making it possible for more aircraft to meet the requirements.

But, it was soon evident that it would be a drawn-out process, which kicked off a debate between operational and political stakeholders about "what the aircraft should and shouldn't be." They did agree, however, that it could not be the EH101. As well, when the prospective suppliers bid, it was "lowest cost compliant" even though, from the RCAF perspective – and eventually, that of Sikorsky – it would be "a developmental aircraft, notwithstanding the rhetoric of the day from the politicians, that we were buying off-the-shelf," the former officer explained.
Quote:
One of the challenges for Sikorsky was its early assumption that Canada's procurement sophistication was similar to that of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and others, and that a developmental aircraft would naturally continue to evolve during its first few years in service. Notwithstanding the government’s point of view that the Cyclone has not met 100 per cent of the required specifications, Sikorsky takes the position that the aircraft can be flown as is, with later refinements – including those to the helicopter’s system software – to be added in blocks.

"With the aircraft at this stage of maturity, they'd come back at an agreed-upon time and install a software patch, and another at the next mutually agreeable time, until the aircraft is 100 per cent in compliance,” said one source familiar with the Cyclone program and the block upgrade approach. “This would allow crews to start training on the aircraft now. But, there's a reluctance to do that, since the contract apparently does not reflect the reality of a development program.”
Quote:
Many in the military are reluctant to raise the fundamental safety issues resulting from the Cyclone's delay into service. There is no escaping the fact that the mission effectiveness of the Sea King fleet diminishes the longer it is in service. Back in 2001, the Auditor General reported that 30 hours of Sea King maintenance was required for each hour's flying time. While Shearwater personnel say that ratio has been drawn down, thanks mainly to modern diagnostics, it remains a significant cost factor which is exacerbated by a growing scarcity of key spares.

The former pilot interviewed for this article said that the Sea King community has been wrestling with these and other issues since the replacement process became mired in government delays. "Thirty-five years!" the pilot exclaimed, adding that despite the frustration, there are tremendous hopes for the Cyclone.

"When you see the two aircraft side by side, you can't even compare them; they're night and day. I love the Sea King dearly; it's carried me all over the world and brought me home. But if I was going to war tomorrow and had a choice, I'd pick the undelivered, uncertified aircraft, because it's so much more capable. We're talking about the technology jump from our current CF-18 to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter being huge? This is akin to jumping from the CF-104 Starfighter to the F-35. The 104 and the Sea King were both first delivered in 1963!"

With a procurement system divided between a contract management agency (PWGSC), and the end-user community (DND), the end result can be a kind of stasis in which neither department seems capable of making decisions. The process is further complicated by Industry Canada and its focus on contractual spinoffs, known as industrial regional benefits.


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13200 times:

I think a better investigation would be: "Canada: Why can't we get helicopter programs right?*"

*Except for the CH-147, apparently.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 13172 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 4):
I think a better investigation would be: "Canada: Why can't we get helicopter programs right?*"

Most of Canada's military procurement disasters seem to be centered around the fact that they think they have unique requirements when they really don't.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12060 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (9 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12908 times:

Why doesn't Canada just order the USCG version, the HH-60J, upgraded to the HH-60T (which the USCG is doing now to all their "J" model Jayhawks)?

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 12846 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 4):
I think a better investigation would be: "Canada: Why can't we get helicopter programs right?*"

*Except for the CH-147, apparently.

lol which procurement are you talking about? The CH-147Ds we sold to the dutch in the 90s or the new CH-147Fs. Seems that was a bit of a blunder too... seeing how they were bought, sold, then bought again.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Why doesn't Canada just order the USCG version

Because we Canadians have special requirements for our gear. Those are the same as everyone else and a butt load of blown money and time.


User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 12796 times:

When Canada drops the S-92, it will win in VXX-2.

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12671 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 4):
I think a better investigation would be: "Canada: Why can't we get helicopter programs right?*"

A more appropriate comment might be: "Why can't Canada get almost ANY military procurement program right ?"

-Upholder/Victoria-class submarine program. Was supposed to be essentially free (in exchange for RAF use of Goose Bay), have spent $4B to date fixing the boas. One in the water, one in drydock, another to enter. 4th boat may likely be used for spare parts after at sea fire.
-Fixed wing SAR program. Has taken more than 15 years of studies, still no decision.
-Fleet replenishment ships was originally 3 ships for $2,5B, now 2 ships for an unknown program cost. Also capabilties reduced. Makes one wonder how the frigate replacement program will go.
-Leopard tanks. We wind up with 2 squadrons of non-compatible tanks, one in the west, one in the east.
-To say nothing about the F-35.
-And of course the Sea King replacement program (Sea Kings currently grounded after latest incident)

Programs that SEEM to have gone well are:
-Super Hercules. Just not quite enough of them.
-Globemaster III. Again, 1 or 2 more would be useful.

Not a very good success/failure ratio. On civilian street, those responsible would likely have been sacked.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12659 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
-Leopard tanks. We wind up with 2 squadrons of non-compatible tanks, one in the west, one in the east.

Someone will have to explain this one to me. I have not heard this tale. Going from memory I thought Canada sold its Leopard I's thinking it needed no more tanks and then bought a group of Leopard II's a few years later when they did an about face on that. Did they buy them from different sources or something?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 12633 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 10):

Someone will have to explain this one to me. I have not heard this tale. Going from memory I thought Canada sold its Leopard I's thinking it needed no more tanks and then bought a group of Leopard II's a few years later when they did an about face on that. Did they buy them from different sources or something?

2 different variants, both Leopard 2's. One is an extensive upgrade and modernization of the A4 variant, the other is a Canadian variant of the A6M. Mechanically, they are identical except for the interior layout and turret configuration. Krauss-Maffei Wegman did a great job with the upgrade work.

Of the two, the A4's are actually the more sophisticated tank; the A4 variant has systems and components taken from A7 and backfitted. New FCS, Electric Turret Control, A6 type Mine Protection, hull and turret armour from the A7, proper mounts for pioneer equipment, other stuff.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
-Upholder/Victoria-class submarine program. Was supposed to be essentially free (in exchange for RAF use of Goose Bay), have spent $4B to date fixing the boas. One in the water, one in drydock, another to enter. 4th boat may likely be used for spare parts after at sea fire.

No one really believed that they were free. The government made it appear that it was free, when in reality, it was two different deals announced at the same time to create the impression that it was a barter. It was generally agreed upon by experts that the subs would require a lot of work to get them operational, and the government of the day downplayed and underfunded the work necessary.

And the base involved was CFB Suffield, which houses a entire British Army battlegroup.

Of them, the current status is as follows:
HMCS Victoria: Operational
HMCS Windsor: Has a defective generator. Operationally restricted, but capable of training
HMCS Corner Brook: Damaged due to underwater collision, no damage to pressure hull, but to the fiberglass sonar dome. Repairs in progress, should be complete later this year
HMCS Chicoutimi: In refit, should be ready later this year

In short, by next year, 3 out of 4 subs should be operationally ready...

The situation isn't as bad as what was realistically expected, compared to other submarine users. The Australians are still struggling with their subs, and they've actually ripped every computer out of their subs and replaced it once already.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
-Fixed wing SAR program. Has taken more than 15 years of studies, still no decision.

Disaster if you ask me. Can't purchase aircraft even when the money has been set aside because they can't agree on the specs.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
-Fleet replenishment ships was originally 3 ships for $2,5B, now 2 ships for an unknown program cost. Also capabilties reduced. Makes one wonder how the frigate replacement program will go.

Original specs were totally unrealistic, especially for the price. It was good that they cut capabilities, such as the ability to provide sealift capabilities for the army. The original specs were more like a pie in the sky.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):

Not a very good success/failure ratio. On civilian street, those responsible would likely have been sacked.

When it takes on average 17 years to buy something (or NOT buy something), the entire system is broken, from the political masters to the bureaucracy.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (9 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12611 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):

Of them, the current status is as follows:
HMCS Victoria: Operational
HMCS Windsor: Has a defective generator. Operationally restricted, but capable of training
HMCS Corner Brook: Damaged due to underwater collision, no damage to pressure hull, but to the fiberglass sonar dome. Repairs in progress, should be complete later this year
HMCS Chicoutimi: In refit, should be ready later this year

In short, by next year, 3 out of 4 subs should be operationally ready...

The situation isn't as bad as what was realistically expected, compared to other submarine users. The Australians are still struggling with their subs, and they've actually ripped every computer out of their subs and replaced it once already.

Having worked on the program for several years in the late 80s/early 90s, if we'd committed to the French Rubys/Amethyste nuclear subs, we would have had a fleet of 6 or 7 operational by around early aughts. But no, Perrin Beatty shot his mouth off and advertised them as attack subs, which they're not, and turned public and political opinion against the program. These boats were littoral water patrol vessels and would have been particularly ideal of the East Coast. Shame, really, these boats had a lot of really neat features.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12578 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 7):
lol which procurement are you talking about? The CH-147Ds we sold to the dutch in the 90s or the new CH-147Fs. Seems that was a bit of a blunder too... seeing how they were bought, sold, then bought again.

While the gap is inexplicable, the CH-47F/147Fs are a significant upgrade.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
A more appropriate comment might be: "Why can't Canada get almost ANY military procurement program right ?"
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
Programs that SEEM to have gone well are:
-Super Hercules. Just not quite enough of them.
-Globemaster III. Again, 1 or 2 more would be useful.

What's the pattern here? The pattern is that the three aforementioned programs were little-modified from what was being built for others.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12508 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 9):
-Fleet replenishment ships was originally 3 ships for $2,5B, now 2 ships for an unknown program cost. Also capabilties reduced. Makes one wonder how the frigate replacement program will go.

Original specs were totally unrealistic, especially for the price. It was good that they cut capabilities, such as the ability to provide sealift capabilities for the army. The original specs were more like a pie in the sky.

I'd disagree on that. Our 'natural' area of military ops would be more like Caribbean and Central America (Haiti definitely coming to mind). Not Afghanistan, which IMHO has been a very bad experience. Being able to bring in a battalion or two, if necessary, with all kit, would be very good. A vessel with some of the features of the Danish Absalon class comes to mind.

But everyone has their own opinion.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12409 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 14):

I'd disagree on that. Our 'natural' area of military ops would be more like Caribbean and Central America (Haiti definitely coming to mind). Not Afghanistan, which IMHO has been a very bad experience. Being able to bring in a battalion or two, if necessary, with all kit, would be very good. A vessel with some of the features of the Danish Absalon class comes to mind.

It would have been cheaper to purchase 2-3 actual fleet replenishment ships, and then setup a long term charter or lease for a RO-RO ship that would be available at a week's notice. You would gain more capabilities that way as well.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 months 12 hours ago) and read 12267 times:

A bit of rehash of the situation, but the Canadian government has refused delivery of the Cyclones:

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...nada-Refuses-Accept-Sikorsky-Helos

Quote:
Canada Refuses To Accept Sikorsky Helos

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA — In what one top official is calling “the worst procurement in the history of Canada,” the government has refused to accept maritime helicopters being offered by Sikorsky under a $5 billion contract, arguing that the new aircraft don’t meet the needs of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The government has also hired a consultant to determine whether Sikorsky will be able to deliver the Cyclone maritime helicopter that the Canadian military contracted for in 2004. Recent comments by government ministers mark the first time they have openly questioned whether Sikorsky can follow through with the delivery of the 28 Cyclones, a maritime variant of Sikorsky’s S-92.

The first fully equipped helicopter was supposed to be delivered in November 2008, with delivery of all 28 helicopters by early 2011. But Sikorsky has yet to deliver a fully compliant helicopter.

The company has instead offered Canada what it calls “interim” helicopters — aircraft that are not fully outfitted with their mission systems. Improvements would be added to the helicopters over time. That offer, however, has been rejected.

On June 27, then-Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Canada would be the first country to fly Cyclones “if and when we take full receipt of that aircraft.”

Former Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose has accused Sikorsky of not living up to its contract. “The interim helicopter does not meet the requirements of the Air Force, so we are not going to take delivery of a helicopter that is not compliant,” Ambrose told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation June 25. Public Works will not say what sort of fee Canada would have to pay for canceling the contract.

Both MacKay and Ambrose were moved to new government positions July 15 as part of an overall change of Cabinet ministers but the impasse over the helicopters remains. MacKay is the new justice minister and Ambrose is the minister of health.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson declined to comment on the issues raised by Ambrose. But he noted the company is making what it calls steady progress on the Cyclone program.

He noted in an email that four “flight ready” aircraft are now at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, Nova Scotia. Those are the aircraft the government has declined to accept.

“In Shearwater today we have four flight-ready Cyclone helicopters and a completely equipped training center ready to begin basic pilot training as soon as the government gives the go-ahead,” Jackson wrote. “We are very anxious to keep the program moving forward and remain in positive and productive discussions with the government on how we can achieve that.”

The Cyclones are to replace Canada’s Sikorsky-built CH-124 Sea King helicopters, which the Canadian Forces has been using since the 1960s.

Delays surfaced shortly after work began on the Cyclone project in 2007. Sikorsky won’t comment on the reason for the delays, but there were initial delays due to a strike at the Sikorsky plant.

Canada agreed to re-negotiate the delivery schedule and under a new deal pay Sikorsky CAN $117 million (US $112 million) extra for improvements to be made to the Cyclone, as well as changes to the long-term in-service support package for the aircraft. The improvements included more powerful engines as well as upgrades to various onboard computers. Sources said the integration of the onboard computers led to further delays.

Public Works spokesman Sébastien Bois, however, pointed out that under that revised agreement, Sikorsky was required to start delivering the interim maritime helicopters in November 2010 and the first fully compliant machines in June 2012.

“Sikorsky has yet to deliver any compliant helicopters to the Government of Canada,” Bois wrote in an email. “The government expects suppliers to meet their contractual obligations and we continue to enforce the aircraft manufacturer’s contract provisions, including those related to late delivery of maritime helicopters.”

In an October 2010 report on the status of the Canadian Cyclone project, then-Auditor General Sheila Fraser pointed to the program’s problems. “In our opinion, National Defence did not adequately assess the developmental nature of this aircraft, and the risks related to cost and the complexity of the required technical modifications were underestimated,” she concluded in her 50-page report, titled “Acquisition of Military Helicopters.”

Fraser pointed out in her report that the interim Cyclone helicopters are lacking capabilities in mission system software and the exchange of tactical data between ships and the aircraft. These are areas where there have been ongoing difficulties in the development of the Cyclone, she noted.

Sikorsky is the prime contractor for the project, while General Dynamics Canada Ltd. Ottawa, and L-3 MAS, Mirabel Quebec, are principal sub-contractors. General Dynamics is developing and testing the onboard mission systems while L-3 MAS will perform the in-service support engineering activities and will manage that support program.

In the meantime, the Air Force’s Sea Kings have been grounded indefinitely after a July 15 incident involving one of the helicopters at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater. As the helicopter landed after a routine training mission it tilted forward, damaging its rotors. “It’s precautionary until they can determine if this is a systemic issue with the Sea Kings or is something that is isolated,” said Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Len Hickey, spokesman at 12 Wing Shearwater.

In March, Air Force commander Lt.-Gen. Yvan Blondin told a Senate defense committee he wasn’t concerned about the delays with the Cyclones. “Every time I get through a program or a fleet, there are always some delays,” he explained during the March 25 hearing. “No matter what fleet you will be talking about, the fleet that does not have a delay is an exception.”

Blondin told senators he did not know when the Cyclones would be delivered. But he added that he is “comfortable in flying the Sea King for the next five years.”

Sikorsky’s competitors warned in 2004 that the firm would not be able to meet the original timetable. At the time, Gabriel Galleazzi, who was handling the bid by AgustaWestland for the program, questioned how Sikorsky would be able to deliver an operational helicopter within the required four years. “I am not aware of any development of the military or naval variant of the S-92,” he said. “It is in the mind of the designers but not yet designed.”

But Sikorsky’s Bruce McKinney said at the time the Stratford, Conn., company would have no problem meeting the Canadian deadline. “We are well positioned to take this aircraft, which has the latest technologies available in it, and navalize it,” said McKinney, then Sikorsky’s director for the maritime helicopter project.

Sikorsky engineers were already designing the helicopter with a folding tail and blades, allowing it to be stored in hangars on board Canadian warships, he added at the time. “All of those designs were anticipated from the very beginning as we developed this aircraft,” McKinney said. “Sikorsky has a long history of maritime helicopter development.”


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 12094 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
A bit of rehash of the situation, but the Canadian government has refused delivery of the Cyclones:

Looks like the death knell for the CH-148 unless something changes quickly and drastically. 5 years late with no end in sight... a incomplete, unproven design... I dont see the Cyclone surviving 2013.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11763 times:

In the meantime, testing to begin in August:
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novasco...t?from=most_read&most_read=1144809

Quote:
OTTAWA — Flight testing of the air force’s long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone helicopters is set to begin next month in Nova Scotia.

The manufacturer and National Defence have agreed to the proposal, inching the politically painful program ahead for the Harper government, which has grown more impatient and vocal in its frustration over the replacement of decades-old Sea Kings.

United Technologies Corp., the parent company of Sikorsky Aircraft, told market analysts this week that Canadian air force pilots and technicians will begin giving the aircraft its shakedown exercises at the base in Shearwater in early August.

This falls on the heels of a proposal from Sikorsky to accept the aircraft 'as is' and for them to receive regular block upgrades:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle13472242/#dashboard/follows/

Quote:
The Harper government has been asked to accept the air force’s long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters as they are currently configured and gradually phase them into service using regular software upgrades intended to make the aircraft fully operational.

The proposal is being floated publicly by Sikorsky aircraft in the wake of a federal cabinet shuffle that has left both National Defence and Public Works with seasoned but not yet fully acclimatized ministers.

As read on another forum when this was reported:

Quote:
I know you want these options on your truck for your business, but I have an idea – we’ll sell you the truck as is, at full cost, and we’ll add the bits you need to do your work a bit at a time. By the way, you won’t be able to drive it at night or in the rain for the first while.

What could possibly go wrong?


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11919 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 11757 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
As read on another forum when this was reported:

Quote:
I know you want these options on your truck for your business, but I have an idea – we’ll sell you the truck as is, at full cost, and we’ll add the bits you need to do your work a bit at a time. By the way, you won’t be able to drive it at night or in the rain for the first while.

What could possibly go wrong?

To play devil's advocate, I'll point out that one can get all kinds of different trucks from several vendors on very short or no notice. None of that applies to this particular helicopter.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11718 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
None of that applies to this particular helicopter.

I bet if the RCAF called up Agustawestland and asked how long it would take for first delivery of a AW101 variant already in production with very little modifications... I bet the first fully functional frame would be accepted within 12 months, probably snagged from the current production line.

Even if the CH-148 is accepted in its incomplete form... it will be well over a year before it is up to full standards.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11919 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11604 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 20):
I bet if the RCAF called up Agustawestland and asked how long it would take for first delivery of a AW101 variant already in production with very little modifications... I bet the first fully functional frame would be accepted within 12 months, probably snagged from the current production line.

If someone was already making something closer to the desired spec, one would hope it would have gotten the order.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11595 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 20):

I bet if the RCAF called up Agustawestland and asked how long it would take for first delivery of a AW101 variant already in production with very little modifications... I bet the first fully functional frame would be accepted within 12 months, probably snagged from the current production line.

This would of course be the problem. Canada seems to have deluded itself that no off the shelf solution would work for them because...well....I am not sure. But I do know that it sure seems to create some pretty interesting procurement disasters.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 11554 times:

Meanwhile, Canada will celebrate 50 years of Sea King operations:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...013/07/30/f-sea-king-timeline.html

The first Canadian Sea Kings arrived in Canada on August 1st, 1963.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11919 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (8 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 11530 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
The first Canadian Sea Kings arrived in Canada on August 1st, 1963.

I was still pooing my diapers on that date...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
25 Post contains images TheCol : If the specific requirements for each unit are identified and included in the initial contract, then there won't be any issues. The problem is that D
26 Post contains links ThePointblank : External report is completed: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...sea-king-helicopters-sikorsky.html Basically, the project was doomed from the sta
27 Oroka : So they paid a consulting company to look at the acquisition and point out the obvious...? Seems about right. Now they need to form a committee to go
28 Post contains links ThePointblank : Apparently, the threat that Canada will ditch the CH-148's is not just a bluff, as the Canadian military has sent a team to the UK to inspect the UK's
29 Post contains links ThePointblank : More talk about the same regarding the government seriously considering ditching Sikorsky: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...l-sea-king-replaceme
30 Post contains links ThePointblank : More concerns regarding the flight worthiness of the CH-148; EMP and electromagnetic interference issues are being cited as a concern: More at the lin
31 Oroka : Would it be that big of a deal to use the GE T700-T6A1 that the CH-149 uses? Im sure it would involve some tweeks, but it is a proven engine in a pro
32 ThePointblank : It probably would be a big deal because of the software interface between the engines and the avionics, which then requires certification and develop
33 Post contains links CYQL : Time for Plan B? AgustaWestland responds. http://skiesmag.com/news/articles/19872-time-for-plan-b-.html
34 Oroka : From CYQL's link, Jeremy Tracy, AgustaWestlands chief in Ottawa Seems that going with a CT7 is already in the cards for the Merlins, which would put
35 ThePointblank : Problem is that that engine, avionics, and mission systems combination has never been tested before. In order to speed up deliveries, the less we tin
36 Oroka : lol Canadian military procurement at its best! Yes we do need new helicopters last week, but I would argue that a very low risk program would be worth
37 ThePointblank : The main issue is the avionics for the CH-149's are no longer made, so a new avionics fit would be required. The problem is that the CH-149's avionic
38 Oroka : Yeah I was starting to think it would be easier to upgrade the CH-149 rather than the Merlins. I really dont understand our government/dnd's though tr
39 ThePointblank : That's because of the lack of customization options on those aircraft, coupled with the timeliness issue. C-17's were needed fast to relieve the stre
40 Post contains links CYQL : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AW101 I wonder what is the status of the 8 RN Merlin HM1's that are not being upgraded to HM2 status. If they are in stor
41 ThePointblank : Being advised that the formal Hitachi report has been submitted to the government for review, and the future of this project is now being being review
42 Oroka : So, custom unit again?
43 ThePointblank : It seems the government really wants the General Dynamics mission system, as a lot of development work has already been done on it. But will be on an
44 Post contains links ThePointblank : CBC reports that the government has met with AgustaWestland, Sikorsky, and NHI Industries and provided a set of criteria to the manufacturers to respo
45 queb : Do you really think that politics choose the best aircraft for our needs Why not Eurocopter ?
46 ThePointblank : Probably because they have a stake in NH Industries. They would be competing against themselves, which would work against them.
47 Post contains links and images queb : as well as AgustaWestland
48 sasd209 : Well, if they had wanted the MH-60R, it would have already been in active service. The RAN was able to get theirs quickly by taking new USN A/C straig
49 ThePointblank : Yeah, Eurocopter however has the biggest and the controlling stake in NHI. Also, AWIL has a competing product for a shipboard naval helicopter, Euroc
50 Post contains links ThePointblank : Update: The government is casting the net bigger, meaning that the total number of potential contenders are Sikorsky's SH-60R Seahawk, Agusta Westland
51 Oroka : Sounds similar to a high school student who is in home room and is out of time, mashing down an assignment that is due at first period. The Sea Kings
52 ThePointblank : Update on situation from a source. The source reports that recommendations to the Ministers are now due to be put forward in very early November. A re
53 TheCol : Looks like going with AgustaWestland is clearly the most viable option for us at this point. Good to see some positive changes for once. A lot of peo
54 seahawk : Eurocopter could offer the Martime Cougar version.
55 ThePointblank : However, I don't think the government is interested in the Cougar. In the original New Shipboard Aircraft competition in the 1980's, the Aérospatial
56 Post contains links Oroka : Assuming things proceed as (should) seem obvious, the DND will vote for a stock AW101-600. The Cyclone GDC IMS as all nice and such, but really is lo
57 KiwiRob : The French call then attack subs.
58 ThePointblank : 1. I don't think the VH-71 airframes would be suitable for a maritime helicopter. For one thing, a number of components will need marinizing, includi
59 Pyrex : I would imagine that if you have the geography of Canada you just absolutely need the most capable SAR helicopter available. The maritime area under
60 larshjort : What is the main difference between a 101-500 and a 101-600? Is t only avionics or has the airframe/engine been upgraded? Denmark went with the MH-60R
61 ThePointblank : Depends on the exact variant. Basically, a model 500 series AW101 is a civil utility variant with rear loading ramp. The other two number designates
62 ThePointblank : From our reliable source, the options being put forth are as follows: 1. Kill the CH-148 Acquisition and ISS contract for cause in accordance with the
63 sasd209 : I guess I am failing to understand why maritime helicopters that are acceptable to most of the rest of the world (Cyclone excluded) are not acceptabl
64 Post contains links and images ThePointblank : The main thing is that Canada is a leader and pioneer in operating large helicopters off very small ships. Prior to a number of Canadian innovations
65 Post contains links ThePointblank : An article in the Globe and Mail that appeared today which pretty much repeats the fact that problems with the Sikorsky bid were known well in advance
66 sasd209 : You are the local with the local knowledge, so I will defer to you on that..... It just seems a heck of a way to run a procurement process (not that
67 Post contains links CYQL : Government not scrapping purchase of Cyclone helicopters http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sea-ki...-to-be-retired-next-year-1.2483667
68 larshjort : What is the plan between 2015 and 2018? As the Sea Kings starts being retired it will leave a capacity issue until the Cyclones starts being operatio
69 Post contains images sasd209 : I fixed your quote for you As you all know, I'm a huge Sikorsky fan, but... this H-92 program has not met any significant milestones and will leave C
70 ThePointblank : Probably accept the Cyclone as is, and do spiral upgrades every few years to bring the initial deliveries up. More penalties I believe. At this point
71 Oroka : Sikorsky will finish this contract in the red for sure, BUT the CH-146 is coming up for retirement in 2021, I wouldnt be surprised if Sikorsky will gi
72 ThePointblank : If Bell doesn't run away with the contract, like they are going to do with the Coast Guard's helicopter procurement project!
73 Post contains links ThePointblank : A new news article that explains some of the political dimensions of the decision not to cancel the Cyclone project. Yet again, politics reared it's u
74 N328KF : Why is this so hard, in a nutshell? It's not like Sikorsky is an unproven manufacturer, and in other markets, they have stepped in when other manufact
75 Oroka : I wont say I know, but I would think a large part of it is the thought that the Canadian military needs its own custom version of everything. They (D
76 ThePointblank : The main problem was that this purchase became political, for no good reasons. Had the politicians kept out of the program; the Sea Kings would have
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