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Government Orders External Review Of CH-148  
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 14341 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, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14096 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 13924 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 13278 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 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13209 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 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13181 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, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (9 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 12917 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, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 12855 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 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12805 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 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12680 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 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 12668 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12642 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 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12620 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 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 12587 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 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 12517 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 12418 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12276 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, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 12103 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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11772 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, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (8 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 11766 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, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11727 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, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 11613 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 3 weeks 1 day 20 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.

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, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11563 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, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11539 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!
User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2032 posts, RR: 6
Reply 25, posted (8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11620 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 22):

  

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 DND has a habit of purchasing equipment off the shelf, and doesn't bother to anticipate specific operating requirements and upgrades until after the contracts are signed. Military procurement in Canada hasn't been taken seriously for several decades. Politicians, bureaucrats, and high ranking military officials (especially in the RCAF) are more concerned about what they can gain personally during the procurement process. Then you got the French/Quebec connection, which can screw it up further. Anybody who is an exception to that, like Gordon O'Connor and General Rick Hiller, are either thrown under the bus or railroaded out of NDHQ and Public Works in short order. One thing I've learned quickly is that almost everyone in Ottawa (on the federal level) is in it for the take. The red tape is endless, nothing get's done in a timely and efficient manner, and common sense takes a backseat to everything else. I'm sure the same can be said for DC and Wall St.



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 10202 times:

External report is completed:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...sea-king-helicopters-sikorsky.html

Basically, the project was doomed from the start. However, the external consultants, Hitachi Consulting, says that the entire CH-148 saga can be made viable if a number of requirements are dropped so the helicopter can work, coupled with changes to the management of the project to reflect that it is a developmental project, and that a lessons learned review be done to determine if systemic issues exist that could be addressed in order to avoid future boondoggles with major capital acquisition investments.

In response, the government is now considering alternatives:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...a-kings-contract-public-works.html

Quote:
Amber Irwin, spokeswoman for Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley, said the report from Hitachi Consulting on the contract to buy 28 CH-148 Cyclone choppers "is not yet finalized," and that the government will carefully consider its recommendations once complete.

But, she added, "simultaneously the government is considering other options for the maritime helicopter project."

"We are conducting an analysis of price and availability of other [aircraft] manufactured by other vendors. The government of Canada is committed to ensuring that our armed forces have the equipment they need at the best value to the taxpayer," Irwin told Power & Politics in a statement.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10321 times:

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 on a fact finding mission about what requirements can be dropped. I suggest the part where they fly under their own power... doesn't seem that important, as long as it costs more money to make them un-flyable. I would suggest replacing the current gear box with one constructed primarily out of legos (not the cheap mega blocks).


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10085 times:

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 just delivered Merlin HM-1's at a Royal Navy base:

http://metronews.ca/news/canada/7868...nada-looks-at-royal-navy-choppers/

Quote:
OTTAWA – The Harper government may be ready to throw in the towel on the purchase of long-delayed CH-148 Cyclone helicopters and has gone as far as sending a military team to Britain to evaluate other aircraft.

Defence sources say the team, which included an officer from the air force directorate of air requirements branch, visited a southern base in the United Kingdom recently to look at Royal Navy HM-1 Merlin helicopters.

A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Diane Findley confirmed the government is looking at options “other” than the troubled Cyclones, which are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over-budget.

But Amber Irwin would not get into the details.

“We are conducting an analysis of price and availability of other aircrafts manufactured by other vendors,” Irwin said Thursday. “The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that our armed forces have the equipment they need at the best value to the taxpayer.”

But sources inside National Defence said the effort is “quite serious” and more than just a warning to Sikorsky, the maker the Cyclones, which has been publicly pressuring the Conservative government to accept four test helicopters currently at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, N.S.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (7 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 9885 times:

More talk about the same regarding the government seriously considering ditching Sikorsky:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...l-sea-king-replacement-flawed.html

Quote:

Sea Kings' possible replacement familiar to Canadians
PM Jean Chrétien killed the contract for the EH 101, now known as the AW 101, in 1993

The irony won't be lost on military observers in Canada and around the world.

Twenty years after Prime Minister Jean Chrétien cancelled a $5-billion contract to replace Canada's already aging fleet of Sea King helicopters with the British-Italian EH 101, Canadian military officials are kicking the tires of that same helicopter, though it goes by a different name these days.

Now it's called the Merlin Mk 2 AW 101, following the merger of the Italian firm Agusta and British firm Westland, which produced the aircraft co-operatively.

The military is considering the once-rejected craft because the latest candidate to replace the Sea Kings, the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone, is five years late, and now might not ever make it into the Canadian fleet. That's because contract officials at the Public Works Department are now suggesting the Cyclone contract could be killed altogether.

Of all the possible off-the-shelf replacements, the RN's AW101 Merlin comes the closest to meeting our operational needs. Some developmental work would probably need to be done (e.g. integrating the Mk. 46 torpedo and integration with Canadian ships). To maintain an Mil-COTS purchase, the aircraft would have to be purchased with the RN's mission system and configuration (that means adopting another engine type, the Rolls Royce RTM322 engine).

The billion dollar question is whether staying with the Cyclone will be quicker and cheaper than cutting bait and switching vendors. The fact that this is even open for debate in public some 9 years after contract award likely provides some insight to just how far Sikorsky is behind. One way or another the decision will be made by those in power.

I wonder if the Royal Navy would be willing to lease a couple of Merlin's to us in the interim for testing, training and evaluation purposes if the decision is made to cut and run from Cyclone to the Merlin. But in any case, we are looking at easily pushing 60 years with the Sea King down the line.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (7 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 9563 times:

More concerns regarding the flight worthiness of the CH-148; EMP and electromagnetic interference issues are being cited as a concern:

More at the link:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/cyclone...al-show-stoppers-sources-1.1452160

Quote:
OTTAWA -- Canadian air force engineers and flight-certification officials are grappling with serious concerns related to the electronics aboard the CH-148 Cyclone helicopters that are supposed to replace the geriatric Sea Kings.

That's the word from defence sources with intimate knowledge of the troubled program.

The federal government has refused to accept four test helicopters, currently parked at the Canadian Forces facility in Shearwater, N.S., on the basis they are "non-compliant" -- and most of the public explanation has related to software issues.

But the sources say there's concern that delicate flight systems, including a computer that runs the engines, are not sufficiently shielded against powerful electromagnetic waves, such as those produced by military-grade radar on frigates.

The interference has the potential of blanking out the digital instruments and possibly shutting down the engines.

The directorate of air worthiness at National Defence issued a restricted flight certificate in July and imposed restrictions on the helicopter's operations specifically because of so-called E-3 concerns -- electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic vulnerability and electromagnetic interference.

"Each of them are potential show-stoppers," said one source, who asked for anonymity.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (7 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 9519 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 29):
To maintain an Mil-COTS purchase, the aircraft would have to be purchased with the RN's mission system and configuration (that means adopting another engine type, the Rolls Royce RTM322 engine).

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 proven airframe... really, what difference would it make? The CH-149 T700 is a few hundred shp short of the RTM322... but CT7 variants go upto 3000shp, so im sure there is something that can match the 2270shp of the RTM322.


They need to order a CH-149B, keep it as common as possible with the SAR model. There will be some tweeks, but it is all pre designed and tested, not an unknown challenge to be sorted.

I wouldnt be surprised if someone is asking AgustaWestland those questions right now.

[Edited 2013-09-12 18:27:09]

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (7 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9503 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 31):
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 proven airframe... really, what difference would it make?

It probably would be a big deal because of the software interface between the engines and the avionics, which then requires certification and development for integration.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 31):
They need to order a CH-149B, keep it as common as possible with the SAR model. There will be some tweeks, but it is all pre designed and tested, not an unknown challenge to be sorted.

Problem is that the CH-149 is a totally unique variant of the AW101 helicopter. It's avionics and systems are totally one off. If you went to Agusta-Westland, you probably can't order another CH-149 again because of the major avionics differences. In other words, we bought an orphan, a developmental orphan at that. I would hate to see the disaster that will be when it comes time for the CH-149's to get their mid-life upgrades.

The CH-149 as it exists is not an AW101. Sure it may look the same from the outside - however, the user-machine interface is different enough that it is not the same. Only 15 were ever built. We have the only 14 that remain on the planet.

Was it a stupid way to spend money? Yep - but then again, there were not a bunch of good procurement decisions made from 1993 - 2003, were there? All sorts of stupidity, such as the failure called 'alternative service delivery' and various other initiatives.

Looking at what's going on in the media, with various "unnamed sources with intimate knowledge", and the wording of the Canadian government's press statements, it seems that the political decision makers are preparing the info/political battlefield for a cancellation with all the "sources that shall not be named" crowing like barnyard roosters.

The main thing to note that is the Canadian government has options it can take; Sikorsky doesn't.


User currently offlineCYQL From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 85 posts, RR: 1
Reply 33, posted (7 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 9486 times:

Time for Plan B?

AgustaWestland responds.

http://skiesmag.com/news/articles/19872-time-for-plan-b-.html


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (7 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9431 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 32):
It probably would be a big deal because of the software interface between the engines and the avionics, which then requires certification and development for integration.

From CYQL's link, Jeremy Tracy, AgustaWestlands chief in Ottawa

Quote:
One of the benefits we see for the future in terms of having upgraded AW101s is the engines go to the General Electric CT7-8E engine, which has even better hot-and-high performance (than the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 in the original aircraft). It’s one of the benefits we see for the future. Everybody’s considering that.

Seems that going with a CT7 is already in the cards for the Merlins, which would put the CH-149 ahead a bit I would think. I would think that while the CH-149 avionics are unique, it is not a unrelated variant of the AW101. Yes, there would be development, but it would not be as severe as a new development (I would think).


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 35, posted (7 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9323 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 34):

Seems that going with a CT7 is already in the cards for the Merlins, which would put the CH-149 ahead a bit I would think. I would think that while the CH-149 avionics are unique, it is not a unrelated variant of the AW101. Yes, there would be development, but it would not be as severe as a new development (I would think).

Problem is that that engine, avionics, and mission systems combination has never been tested before. In order to speed up deliveries, the less we tinker with the aircraft and request customizations, the faster deliveries can commence. We need new helicopters yesterday.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 34):
I would think that while the CH-149 avionics are unique, it is not a unrelated variant of the AW101.

More than unique. In fact, when the pilots come back from training in the UK, they require a couple of days of familiarization training with our aircraft because the avionics are different. It's a custom variant of the AW101, with all of the accompanying unique problems.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 9198 times:

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 the wait to keep fleet commonality where possible.

We already have our custom avionics with the CT7, while specifically unique, the software will be related the the Merlin's, which should make the new hardware easier to integrate. I bet if the RCAF 'donated' a flyable VH-71, which also uses the CT7, to AgustaWestland ASAP, in about 18 months most systems would be certified with modified CH-149 avionics and the CT7. Nothing is new... just bring a few different parts together. While certification is going on, the first air frames could be built and waiting for the final specs.

Problem is time. Things have to start moving right now.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (7 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 9189 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 36):
We already have our custom avionics with the CT7, while specifically unique, the software will be related the the Merlin's, which should make the new hardware easier to integrate. I bet if the RCAF 'donated' a flyable VH-71, which also uses the CT7, to AgustaWestland ASAP, in about 18 months most systems would be certified with modified CH-149 avionics and the CT7. Nothing is new... just bring a few different parts together. While certification is going on, the first air frames could be built and waiting for the final specs.

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 avionics suite is based off a proposed civil variant of the AW101, of which only one was sold, to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Agency. No other sales has occurred for this particular variant of the AW101's, so it is a total one-off.

As alluded to earlier, the avionics for the CH-149 are derived from a civilian variant of the AW101; this entails the use of a civilian ARINC 429 data transfer bus. Military versions of the AW101 use two MIL-STD-1553B multiplex data busses that link basic aircraft management, avionics and mission systems. The MIL-STD-1553B and the ARINC 429 data bus systems are totally different from each other and are competing standards, with the MIL-STD-1553B being the predominant choice for military aircraft and helicopters for all US/NATO aligned forces.

There are also various other smaller avionics differences between a civilian AW101, and a military AW101, for example, military versions use Smiths Industries OMI SEP 20 dual-redundant digital AFCS, while civilian AW101's use the BAE CMA-900 flight management system. Cockpit displays are also different; military birds use the Litton EFIS with six 160 x 160 mm (6 × 6 in) Smiths multifunction screens, while civil birds use the Smiths Industries/OMI electronic instrument system (EIS), coupled to the CMA-900's displays.

It would probably would be easier to buy off the shelf, and then when it comes time for mid-life upgrades for the CH-149's, upgrade them to match the new AW101's. The CH-149's should be coming to their mid-life upgrades sometime within this decade. Maintenance and a different supply chain is not a concern with the CH-149's right now; all maintenance for the CH-149's is contracted out; the CH-149 technicians are civilians and is done by contract with IMP Aerospace so it really doesn't affect the CF in terms of training and spare parts. It's IMP Aerospace's headache, not ours; they keep the birds flight-worthy, and we just fly them.

Therefore, it would be easier to buy to the Royal Navy's Merlin HM2 standard; deliveries are wrapping up for the Royal Navy, and we can leverage the Royal Navy's training infrastructure to quickly train pilots and maintainers to operate the type. Additionally, we could try to work out a lease of a couple Royal Navy Merlin's on an interim basis to operate in Canada for local training, familiarization, and operations until our birds are delivered.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (7 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 8993 times:

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 train that we need a custom version of everything! Pretty much the only 3 big procurements in the last 10 years to go off without a hitch was the CC-130J, CC-177, and CH-47D, which to my knowledge are factory stock orders.

Luckily the CF-35 is not that much of a customization other than the tail chute... assuming it actually gets ordered.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (7 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 8944 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 38):
Pretty much the only 3 big procurements in the last 10 years to go off without a hitch was the CC-130J, CC-177, and CH-47D, which to my knowledge are factory stock orders.

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 stress on the CF's clapped out C-130 fleet, and to add new capabilities. C-130J's because its impossible to get a heavily customized version of the the C-130J in any reasonable amount of time to replace the C-130 fleet, and the CH-47D's were straight from US Army stocks, so no ability to customize there.

Also, a number of these orders were fast tracked either because of an injection of political will, or desperate operational urgency, or circumstantial rapid-delivery opportunities. Sometimes all these factors came into play, but the main catalyst has been political will.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 38):
I really dont understand our government/dnd's though train that we need a custom version of everything!

The DND in the past (and often still does) believe that Canadian operational requirements are unique. Successive Senate Defence committee reports have bashed the DND over the head regarding the need to Canadianize everything. With major defence procurement projects often taking 17 years to from planning to first deliveries, it often becomes a target for anyone to get their mitts involved and toss in requirements or interfere with the process.


User currently offlineCYQL From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 85 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 8832 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):
Therefore, it would be easier to buy to the Royal Navy's Merlin HM2 standard; deliveries are wrapping up for the Royal Navy, and we can leverage the Royal Navy's training infrastructure to quickly train pilots and maintainers to operate the type. Additionally, we could try to work out a lease of a couple Royal Navy Merlin's on an interim basis to operate in Canada for local training, familiarization, and operations until our birds are delivered.
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 storage, they may be available on a short term lease, until new HM2's can be produced.

I agree with The Pointblank that the best option would be to buy off the shelf Merlin HM2's, like we did with the C-17 and C-130J. The more changes we specify, means the longer we will still be flying the CH-124 Seaking.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8597 times:

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 reviewed. A decision is expected to be announced before the October 15th throne speech when Parliament reconvenes.

I was also told that this decision will be the crossing of the Rubicon... if it is in favour of the Cyclone, there will be no further discussion on the topic; if its not in favour, the preferred alternative will be a direct procurement of a fleet of AW101's fitted with the General Dynamics Canada mission suite that was originally developed for the Cyclone.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (7 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 8593 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 41):
the preferred alternative will be a direct procurement of a fleet of AW101's fitted with the General Dynamics Canada mission suite that was originally developed for the Cyclone.

So, custom unit again?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (7 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 8592 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 42):
So, custom unit again?

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 airframe that isn't developmental, so that helps immensely.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 44, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

CBC reports that the government has met with AgustaWestland, Sikorsky, and NHI Industries and provided a set of criteria to the manufacturers to respond in 3 weeks. This abbreviated request for information was in regards to the AW101, MH-60R, and NH-90 from the respective 3 manufacturers.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cycl...t-with-federal-officials-1.1913485

Quote:
Senior National Defence and Public Works officials have informally asked rival aircraft makers if they can step in to pick up the pieces if the troubled CH-148 Cyclone helicopter program is cancelled, The Canadian Press has learned.

The attempt to chart a new course for the long-delayed Sea King replacement program took place in Ottawa on Thursday at an unusual meeting that involved not only government officials and executives of AgustaWestland and NH Industries, but also Cyclone manufacturer Sikorsky.

Details of the meeting were provided to The Canadian Press by multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter with the media.
Quote:
The Harper government has made it clear it's looking at options "other" than the Cyclone, even sending an air force team to Britain last summer to check out the Royal Navy HM-1 Merlin helicopters built by AgustaWestland.

NH Industries, which was representing Eurocopter at the meeting, was asked about its NH-90 chopper.

Sikorsky was also asked for information about its other maritime helicopter, the MH-60 Sea Hawk, which is in service with the U.S. Navy.


User currently offlinequeb From Canada, joined May 2010, 603 posts, RR: 2
Reply 45, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8137 times:

Do you really think that politics choose the best aircraft for our needs

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 44):
CBC reports that the government has met with AgustaWestland, Sikorsky, and NHI Industries

Why not Eurocopter ?


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8113 times:

Quoting queb (Reply 45):

Why not Eurocopter ?

Probably because they have a stake in NH Industries. They would be competing against themselves, which would work against them.


User currently offlinequeb From Canada, joined May 2010, 603 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7982 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 46):
Probably because they have a stake in NH Industries.

as well as AgustaWestland

http://www.nhindustries.com/site/docs_wsw/RUB_22/thepartnership2013_big.jpg


User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 7962 times:

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 straight from the production line.... This may be a viable alternative, "unique Canadian requirements" aside. Countries operating/ordered H-60/S-70 A/C in a maritime role include: USN, RAN, RDN, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Singapore, Qatar, Brasil, Taiwan (ROC), Thailand, JMSDF.. I think that's it lol !!

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 49, posted (6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7899 times:

Quoting queb (Reply 47):
as well as AgustaWestland

Yeah, Eurocopter however has the biggest and the controlling stake in NHI. Also, AWIL has a competing product for a shipboard naval helicopter, Eurocopter doesn't.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 50, posted (6 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7215 times:

Update: The government is casting the net bigger, meaning that the total number of potential contenders are Sikorsky's SH-60R Seahawk, Agusta Westland's AW159 Wildcat Lynx, the AW101, and NHI's NH90.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sea-ki...ller-cheaper-helicopters-1.2055599

Quote:
CBC News has learned the government is considering a major rethink of how the military uses its helicopters at sea. The change, if implemented, would spell the end for a five-year-old, $5-billion contract with Sikorsky to replace Canada's aging fleet of Sea Kings, instead opting for smaller, cheaper helicopters.

The possible shift comes as part of a data-gathering engagement initiated earlier this month in which three rival helicopter manufacturers were asked to provide information about possible alternatives to the CH-148 Cyclone, including two much smaller choppers that could save the government billions of dollars.

The government wants the information by next Tuesday — an indication it may be preparing to end the nearly 25-year-long saga to replace the navy's Sea Kings and a procurement process that the then-Minister of Defence Peter MacKay called "the worst in the history of Canada."

The attempt to chart a new course for the long-delayed helicopter replacement program took place in Ottawa last Thursday at a meeting between government officials and executives of helicopter-makers Agusta Westland, Eurocopter subsidiary NH Industries and Cyclone manufacturer Sikorsky.

The fast-tracked process is an indication the government may be close to giving up on the $5-billion contract with Sikorsky for 28 Cyclone helicopters meant to replace the military workhorse Sea Kings which have been relied on for 50 years.

CBC News has learned there are four helicopters being considered, including the MH-60 Sea Hawk – a naval version of Sikorsky’s Blackhawk used by various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces – as well as Augusta Westland’s 159 and HM-1 Merlin, which are about a third the size of the Sea King and Cyclone. NH Industries was also asked about its medium-sized NH-90 chopper.

This could mean the death knell for the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter as it could mean that the government is very seriously entertaining cancellation of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter all together. If you listen to CBC's defence analyst, James Cudmore, he is suggesting that by how the government has moved on this file is totally different from other procurement projects that have run into trouble, and that alone is signaling how serious the government is taking this file.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (6 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6975 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 50):
If you listen to CBC's defence analyst, James Cudmore, he is suggesting that by how the government has moved on this file is totally different from other procurement projects that have run into trouble, and that alone is signaling how serious the government is taking this file.

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 are becoming realistically unserviceable, the CH-148 will not be upto the task even if accepted. Time is running out, hopefully there are no incidents of aircraft and crew losses while the government desperately tries to pull their collective heads out of their collective butts.

They will go with the AW101... but they have to do the whole bid thing, even if just to avoid more bull that slows down the procurement.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (5 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6670 times:

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 request for information was issued to potential alternative suppliers in early October and responses had to be submitted not later than last Tuesday (22 October). The RFI was not issued via the usual tendering process so the details of it are not readily available.

Information on the process is being tightly held and controlled, but these are the facts available and some analysis:

The RFI was issued only to three OEMs - Sikorsky, Eurocopter and AgustaWestland, as mentioned in the news articles above.

Sikorsky was asked to provide information (cost, schedule and technical) for the USN MH-60R Seahawk; however, this product is apparently only available via a US DoD FMS procurement process and would likely be an ITAR headache just to get a hold of this information. It uses a Lockheed Martin IMS very similar to the one integrated in the RN Merlin Mk2. This leaves them out of the running because of the fact that Sikorsky probably can't reply to the RFI with the information the government wants.

Eurocopter was asked to provide information (cost, schedule and technical) for the NFH-90; however, this is not a Eurocopter product (it is produced by NHI) and, at any rate, Eurocopter would only be able to respond with the French Navy's version of the NFH-90 mission system at best. This will probably eliminate Eurocopter from the running as well as they have a product that they don't have full rights to.

AgustaWestland was asked to provide information (cost, schedule and technical) for the AW159 (Wildcat) and the AW101. The original Merlin (EH101) versions are no longer built. They have been superceded by the new AW101-600 series. Therefore, Agusta Westland would be offering a new-build AW101-600 naval or naval utility variant with the new Italian Navy IMS (which exceeds the capabilities of both the Merlin Mk2 and CH-148 GDC IMS), or the Lockheed Martin IMS fitted in Merlin Mk2.

All alternative contenders could accept the Cyclone GDC IMS but integration of it would require some development work that Canada would most likely want to avoid at this juncture.


User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2032 posts, RR: 6
Reply 53, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 6449 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):

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 people at Public Works and DND have been busting their humps to right the ship. Personally I was surprised that Rona Ambrose was re-assigned to another cabinet position. I hear she apparently put her foot down on a lot of the BS going on with a number of procurement projects, even going toe to toe with Peter Mackay on a couple of occasions.



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineseahawk From Germany, joined May 2005, 578 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6242 times:

Eurocopter could offer the Martime Cougar version.

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6237 times:

Quoting seahawk (Reply 54):
Eurocopter could offer the Martime Cougar version.

However, I don't think the government is interested in the Cougar. In the original New Shipboard Aircraft competition in the 1980's, the Aérospatiale AS332F Super Puma was a contender, and was eliminated compared to the EH-101. It was also eliminated in competition to replace the CH-113 Labrador helicopters by the CH-149 Cormorant. Also, in the competition that selected the CH-148 Cyclone, the Super Puma and it's derivatives was never offered, with the NH-90 offered (and eliminated early as being "non compliant").

Also, Eurocopter is not marketing the Cougar as a naval helicopter, which adds to the issues. It's the older AS332 Super Puma that was marketed as a naval helicopter.

As such, I believe that based upon the publicly available information, if the government is advised to kill the CH-148 Cyclone by its advisers, AgustaWestland will get the contract for one of their two offerings (the AW159 Wildcat and the AW101). The Navy is most interested in the AW101 as historically, it has been the preferred helicopter in every single competition to replace the Sea King, as above all, the AW101 was designed to be a proper Sea King replacement.

Whatever advice the government gets will, in my opinion, surround the single engine out performance requirement. The engine choice for the CH-148 has changed a number of times over the years due to unexpected weight growth of the CH-148, and the lack of ability of Sikorsky to properly estimate the weight growth of the airframe. The CH-148 when it was originally offered used the GE CT7-8A (2500 shp) engine. When it became clear that the CT7-8A engine did not meet the minimum MH performance requirements and Sikorsky and GE subsequently agreed to modifications that resulted in the currently fitted CT7-8A1 engine (the current interim engine).

When it became clear again that Sikorsky had grossly underestimated the weight growth of the airframe, more powerful engines were going to be required to meet the single engine out performance requirement. Enter the second engine selected, the GE CT7-8C, which was a three stage 3000+ shp engine. However, this engine died when the VH-71 contract was canceled by the US, and all development work also halted. As such, this engine choice disappeared as an option for Sikorsky for the CH-148.

In response, Sikorsky and GE (at the latter's expense) agreed to a development program to squeeze every ounce of power from the existing twin stage CT7 engine. GE eventually achieved off-aircraft FAA certification for a fully tweaked CT7 engine in late 2011 (the CT7-8A6 & CT7-8A7 - the latter specifically designed for the Cyclone fleet). Despite GE's hard work, the CT7-8A7 was certified well short of the power requirements that would allow the CH-148 to meet the single engine out performance requirement.

As a result, if you go back and see the Hitachi report briefing that was leaked, it specifically recommends that some of the safety requirements be relaxed in order to make the CH-148 work. I bet that the single engine out performance requirement is one of the key concerns causing all of the issues with Sikorsky, and Public Works and the DND need to think if they are going to be willing to allow one of their key performance requirements to be relaxed in order to make the contract work.

[Edited 2013-10-28 02:43:12]

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6148 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):
Therefore, Agusta Westland would be offering a new-build AW101-600 naval or naval utility variant with the new Italian Navy IMS (which exceeds the capabilities of both the Merlin Mk2 and CH-148 GDC IMS), or the Lockheed Martin IMS fitted in Merlin Mk2.

All alternative contenders could accept the Cyclone GDC IMS but integration of it would require some development work that Canada would most likely want to avoid at this juncture.

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 lost money with the Cyclone program. Throwing money after bad money just to use the system rather than the more than compliant AW101-600 IMS is dumb.

Perhaps AW will allow the VH-71 airframes to be used and give us a bit of a discount seeing how they are probably getting the contract over Sikorsky. Save the money, order a few extra CH-149 with AW101-600 compliant avionics when overhaul time comes for the Cormorant fleet, then make all the CH-149 common with the AW101.



ThePointblank, do you also go by 'rathawk'? I found a word for word quote of one of your posts on army.ca forums.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.p...h5v69s191icd2g7dfo1o6q5#msg1265314

[Edited 2013-10-28 09:25:22]

User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6663 posts, RR: 3
Reply 57, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 12):
But no, Perrin Beatty shot his mouth off and advertised them as attack subs, which they're not

The French call then attack subs.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6043 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 56):
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 lost money with the Cyclone program. Throwing money after bad money just to use the system rather than the more than compliant AW101-600 IMS is dumb.

Perhaps AW will allow the VH-71 airframes to be used and give us a bit of a discount seeing how they are probably getting the contract over Sikorsky. Save the money, order a few extra CH-149 with AW101-600 compliant avionics when overhaul time comes for the Cormorant fleet, then make all the CH-149 common with the AW101.



ThePointblank, do you also go by 'rathawk'? I found a word for word quote of one of your posts on army.ca forums.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.p...h5v69s191icd2g7dfo1o6q5#msg1265314

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, including the need for automatic folding main rotors and tail. The better bet is to reconfigure VH-71's as additional CH-149 for SAR work. We then conduct a mid-life upgrade of the CH-149's so they can be modified so that they better match the VH-71's, as the mid-life upgrade is coming due on the CH-149's this decade.

2. I agree that the AW101 is, and should be the best option available if the Cyclone gets canned. Failing that, the other decent option is the AW159 Wildcat, but that would entail a major rethink of how we operate helicopters at sea from our ships. There is a very small chance that the SH-60R Seahawk would be a viable option despite the many ITAR issues just getting a hold of information about pricing and capabilities as it would have to go through the US FMS process, and that process can be bureaucratic and painfully slow at the best of times.

3. You found one of my sources. Rathawk has some insider information on what's going on with the Cyclone project, and he was the first to come out with information that the Cyclone project was in trouble from a technical standpoint.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3816 posts, RR: 28
Reply 59, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5986 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):

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)?

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 Canadian jurisdiction is absolutely huge. Even Portugal, which barely spends any money on military procurement, decided to go with the EH-101 when it needed to replace its Pumas despite the fact that it is too big for a secondary role as an army support helicopter because, when you have jurisdiction over that much of the Atlantic Ocean, you simply cannot accept any substitutes. The Portuguese Air Force frequently flies them to the very edge of their capabilities, conducting SAR operations 300 miles out, and I am sure Canada is the same thing. If you can afford to spend billions of dollars in dozens of litoral patrol ships that can land a Jayhawk then that helicopter is probably fine for you, but if you cannot and the bulk of your helicopters need to be land-based then you need something more capable.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 60, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5856 times:

What is the main difference between a 101-500 and a 101-600? Is t only avionics or has the airframe/engine been upgraded?

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 48):


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 straight from the production line.... This may be a viable alternative, "unique Canadian requirements" aside. Countries operating/ordered H-60/S-70 A/C in a maritime role include: USN, RAN, RDN, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Singapore, Qatar, Brasil, Taiwan (ROC), Thailand, JMSDF.. I think that's it lol !!

Denmark went with the MH-60R for the shipbased helicopter earlier this year to replace the Westland Lynx currently being used. But for shebased SAR we use the EH-101 Mk 512 which also doubles as a troop transport helicopter.

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 61, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5841 times:

Quoting larshjort (Reply 60):
What is the main difference between a 101-500 and a 101-600? Is t only avionics or has the airframe/engine been upgraded?

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 the exact equipment and avionics fit onboard the helicopter. There are production changes along the way in response to parts obsolesce, and exact user needs.

The current model in production is the Model 600 series AW101. Of this model, there have been a number of exports. The Algerian Navy operates the Model 610, while Saudi Arabia has the model 640. India ordered the Model 641.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (5 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5530 times:

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 contract for contractor non-performance.
2. Accept the non-performance and amend the MHP contract(s) terms and conditions (as recommended by the Hitachi report) to significantly change the delivery schedule and reduce or remove the original MHP 2003 performance requirements that the Cyclone cannot meet to date.

In the case of option 1, as we have all seen, the government has looked at 4 options as a potential CH-148 replacement. According to the source, he understands that at least 3 out of the 4 options were deemed non-compliant based upon the responses to the RFI. The target date for the recommendations is for the middle of November, but a decision will be made before the year is out.


User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (5 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5491 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 62):
According to the source, he understands that at least 3 out of the 4 options were deemed non-compliant based upon the responses to the RFI

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 acceptable to the DND. Are" Canadian-specific" requirements that strict that almost no helicopter will do? It seems like Canada wants a tailor made, one of a kind, (small) super-chopper fleet all of their own. This has not worked thus far..


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5479 times:

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 63):
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 acceptable to the DND. Are" Canadian-specific" requirements that strict that almost no helicopter will do? It seems like Canada wants a tailor made, one of a kind, (small) super-chopper fleet all of their own. This has not worked thus far..

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 and procedures, the only ship that could operate a large helicopter like the Sea King would be off a ship the size of a light aircraft carrier.

Canadian practice and experience in operating helicopters off ships have focused on operating large helicopters over using smaller helicopters. The reason why larger helicopters are preferred is because larger helicopters are more flexible, can carry more sensors and weapons, have more range, and in general, more flexibility in operations.

And there is also good old fashioned politics; there is an alternative helicopter that could meet every single requirement the Canadian Forces need from a maritime helicopter, and has been successful as being an actual Sea King replacement by other users and was chosen as the Sea King replacement for Canada before a previous government cancelled the contract, causing half a billion dollars worth of cancellation penalties, plus any money spent on procurement to that point:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Heinrich



But due to the politics of the past, this choice was politically unacceptable until now.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (5 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5335 times:

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 of contract award back in 2004. Again, the article goes into detail pointing out the main technical issues (engines, main gearbox, EMP resistance). But this story could very well be the final nail in the coffin for the CH-148 Cyclone:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...issues-files-show/article15237328/

Quote:
DND warned in 2004 about Cyclone helicopters’ performance issues, files show

MURRAY BREWSTER

Canadian air force evaluators warned nearly a decade ago that the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter might not measure up in terms of engine performance, acoustic noise and its ability to resist electronic interference, The Canadian Press has learned.

Previously unreleased National Defence reports that date back to September 2004, recently viewed by CP, cite a litany of concerns about Sikorsky’s plan to convert its existing S-92 helicopter for maritime and military missions.

The highly technical appraisals were conducted by a team of dozens of air force engineers before then prime minister Paul Martin awarded what was at the time a $1.8-billion contract.

Yet, despite the concerns and the fact that some aspects of Sikorsky’s plan were declared “non-compliant,” the bid was allowed to proceed based on the assumption the company would be able to overcome the existing problems.

The red flags that were set down by engineers, based on some 475 different evaluation criteria, proved prescient in identifying major issues that have plagued and ultimately delayed the program to the point where the Harper government is now considering scrapping it.

To me, it repeats the story that I've been hearing from very early on that the Sikorsky bid was pencil-whipped from a non-compliant bid to a compliant bid in order to save the government embarrassment for ordering the same helicopter it cancelled back in 1993 to great fanfare and to a immediate cancellation penalty of $500 million dollars.


User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5265 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 64):



But due to the politics of the past, this choice was politically unacceptable until now.

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 Canada is alone in that regard, many other countries, unfortunately, are the same).

Regards,
SASD209


User currently offlineCYQL From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 85 posts, RR: 1
Reply 67, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3507 times:

Government not scrapping purchase of Cyclone helicopters

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sea-ki...-to-be-retired-next-year-1.2483667


User currently offlinelarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3477 times:

Quoting CYQL (Reply 67):
Government not scrapping purchase of Cyclone helicopters

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 operational in 2018. And what happens when Sikorsky cannot deliver a fully operational Cyclone in 2018?

Quoting CBC, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sea-ki...-to-be-retired-next-year-1.2483667 :
A news release issued late on Friday afternoon says the air force will have fully capable Cyclone helicopters by 2018.

When will the last Cyclones be delivered?

/Lars



139, 306, 319, 320, 321, 332, 34A, AN2, AT4, AT5, AT7, 733, 735, 73G, 738, 739, 146, AR1, BH2, CN1, CR2, DH1, DH3, DH4
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting larshjort (Reply 68):
And what happens when Sikorsky DOES NOT deliver a fully operational Cyclone in 2018?

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 Canada with a one-off -92 variant that does not meet the requirements and will be expensive to maintain. Hold Sikorsky to the original contract and cancel it now! I hate to say it but that is the truth of the matter, all politics aside.

SASD209


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 70, posted (3 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3478 times:

Quoting larshjort (Reply 68):
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 operational in 2018.

Probably accept the Cyclone as is, and do spiral upgrades every few years to bring the initial deliveries up.

Quoting larshjort (Reply 68):

And what happens when Sikorsky cannot deliver a fully operational Cyclone in 2018?

More penalties I believe. At this point of time, I don't believe Sikorsky is even remotely breaking even on the Cyclone project.

Quoting larshjort (Reply 68):

When will the last Cyclones be delivered?

I believe that Sikorsky is in the process of final assembly of the final Cyclones. So I expect very quick deliveries of the interim helicopters. What's going to be more important are the upgrades. Sikorsky and General Dynamics need to step it up and deliver the software, avionics, and hardware upgrades.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (3 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

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 give an attractive discount on a CH-146 replacement to not kill the CH-148 program.

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 72, posted (3 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3225 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 71):
I wouldnt be surprised if Sikorsky will give an attractive discount on a CH-146 replacement to not kill the CH-148 program.

If Bell doesn't run away with the contract, like they are going to do with the Coast Guard's helicopter procurement project!


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 73, posted (3 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2842 times:

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 ugly head again:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/too-b...troubled-chopper-program-1.1632160

Quote:
OTTAWA -- More than $1.7 billion has already been spent on the elusive effort to upgrade Canada's helicopter fleet, internal documents show -- a clue as to why the Harper government is sticking with the troubled program.

The eye-popping figure -- about 30 per cent of the overall $5.3-billion budget -- could have meant a far worse political firestorm for the Conservatives than the one that accompanied the ill-fated plan to buy the F-35 stealth fighter.

In the aftermath of an independent report last fall on the beleaguered plan to buy the CH-148 Cyclone choppers as replacements for Canada's aging Sea King fleet, the government acknowledged it was looking at other aircraft -- even going so far as to meet with other manufacturers.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act show the money went towards "acquisition progress payments" and "in-service support set-up." The nearly decade-long program has delivered just four test helicopters that National Defence has refused to formally accept.

The $1.7-billion figure is slightly higher than numbers that were buried deep in federal public accounts records released last fall.

Only about one-third of the total has been spent on aircraft. The bulk has gone towards developing mission systems, training facilities in Nova Scotia and B.C., flight-simulation equipment and support.

The briefing notes, prepared for a committee of deputy ministers, also paint a more detailed picture of the back room tug-of-war and building frustration in the military as missed delivery deadlines continued to pile up.

Cancelling the program was clearly not an option, say critics who accuse the Conservatives of perpetrating a charade with its consultations last fall.

Spending so much money and having virtually nothing to show for it would have caused untold political damage, especially among a frustrated Conservative base still reeling from the ongoing Senate expense scandal.

"It would have been a bigger blow to them, to their base, than the F-35 situation," said NDP defence critic Jack Harris.

"I am certain that politics was part of the calculations."

The Conservative reputation for prudent management of the public purse took a hit in 2012 when the auditor general slammed the F-35 stealth fighter program, even though no money had been spent.

Regardless of whether Ottawa could have recouped some of the costs, cancelling the Cyclones would have triggered an ugly, protracted court battle in the run-up to the 2015 election, said Michael Byers, a political science professor and defence researcher at the University of British Columbia.

More at the link.

Basically, $1.7 billion already spent, and if the Cyclones were cancelled, there would be nothing to show for it. It would have been another major political disaster for the Conservative government at a time when they didn't need any more bad news. Even attempting to recover the money through a lawsuit would have been very ugly situation especially going into a election year.

Hopefully, with almost 5 additional years, Sikorsky might be able to deliver a fully operational Cyclone... but with Sikorsky missing practically every single deadline and still struggling to meet specs, the doubts are increasing.


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6482 posts, RR: 3
Reply 74, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

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 manufacturers have faltered.


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2509 times:

Quoting N328KF (Reply 74):

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 manufacturers have faltered.

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 (DND) asked for too much, Sikorsky promised too much with such a new program.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 76, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2482 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 75):
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 (DND) asked for too much, Sikorsky promised too much with such a new program.

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 been replaced already (along the CH-113 Labrador's) by the CH-148 Petrel, and we would of had 35 of them, excluding the SAR frames that were added on.

For info, the myths surrounding the requirements of the program began in 1992, leading to the fateful political election plank to cancel the NSA "attack helicopters". Up until November 3rd 1993, everything about this procurement was running along just fine; everything was on time and on budget. That was the day the train ran off the tracks and where it remains today.

Had the politicians kept out of the program again in 2004, we would of had AW101's delivered already as a Sea King replacement.

And had the politicians kept out of the program again last year, Sikorsky would have had their contract pulled for defaulting on their delivery terms!


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