imiakhtar
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Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:53 pm

I know the US VH-71 presidential chopper program was closely followed on a net. Seems like the Canadians have picked up some bargains. See below:

The Defence Department has purchased nine U.S. presidential helicopters to be stripped down for spare parts for the Canadian air force's Cormorant search-and-rescue choppers.

The nine US101 helicopters as well as additional spare parts were purchased at a cost of around $164 million. That price includes shipping, handling, and engineering support.


http://www.globalnews.ca/world/story.html?id=5009312
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Devilfish
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:48 pm

Quoting imiakhtar (Thread starter):

The nine US101 helicopters as well as additional spare parts were purchased at a cost of around $164 million. That price includes shipping, handling, and engineering support.

Their gain. I hope the CF keep at least one intact for VIP duties...   

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Wonder how much added costs and engineering support would be required to get it airworthy and certified?  scratchchin 

[Edited 2011-06-28 09:19:06]
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par13del
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:55 pm

Now lets see if the US supporters go gaga like some of the Brits are on the US Marines picking up some of the RAF Harriers for spares.  

Never thought that those frames in whatever condition they were would ever just be broken up an sold for scrap, if someone has use for them they will be sold, good job by the Canadian's getting in before others, the base a/c is used by a few other countries.
$164 million for a/c from a project of $3 billion spent, and we wonder why new a/c programs are so expensive, we are focusing on the wrong thing the actual a/c in this case 9. Now how many homes were built, retirement packages funded, school tuition fees paid, college education, those are the ones we don't begrudge, now when we get into the golf club membership, all bets are off  
 
sasd209
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:24 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 2):
$164 million for a/c from a project of $3 billion spent,

I'm very glad that my Canadian neighbors are getting a good deal on these A/C, but I think somebody from the US Govt needs to be accountable for the 2,836,000,000 'lost' on this whole fiasco.... I'd have much rather the US Govt used them for SOMETHING!!! Surely there is an agency someplace that could use a handful of perfectly good helicopters: Homeland Security, Customs, Border Patrol, Fish and Wildlife Dept, Salvation Army,,,, somebody!!

And yes, I understand the whole concept of introducing and supporting a new helo type, training, spares, etc etc.... I'm just kinda ranting and venting here.  
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:45 am

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 3):
think somebody from the US Govt needs to be accountable for the 2,836,000,000 'lost' on this whole fiasco....

From what I gatherred a ridiculous wish-list of White House security staffers was never properly scrutinized because the President's security was involved.
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spudh
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:12 pm

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 3):

If you want to find your 2.3billion check out the thread on the bin laden stealth helo
 
AirRyan
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:03 am

What a joke, someone in the US needs to go to jail for that deal. Program was cancelled and it's only going to cost BILLIONS more to field what will ultimately be the same damned platform! This government has become a joke.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:16 pm

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 3):
I think somebody from the US Govt needs to be accountable for the 2,836,000,000 'lost' on this whole fiasco.

Come to think of it, were any of the "bells and whistles" included in the sale to Canada?      
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Oroka
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:32 pm

I would like to see one converted to CH-149 standards to replace the one that crashed in 2006. Spare parts AND frames... quite the bargain!
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:49 pm

That is one heck of a bargain...obviously not the same crew in charge of sub purchasing.
What the...?
 
sasd209
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:45 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 8):
I would like to see one converted to CH-149 standards to replace the one that crashed in 2006
Quoting Devilfish (Reply 1):
Wonder how much added costs and engineering support would be required to get it airworthy and certified?

Indeed - perhaps that is worth some consideration by the DND... If they really want to improve the availability of the Cormorant fleet, look into putting 1/2 of the acquired A/C into service and use the remaining ones for spares. Does anybody have any info as to how far from being operational these 9 are and if it would even be possible (or economically feasible) to make them airworthy (assuming they currently are not)?

I REALLY, REALLY want somebody to use some of these A/C in a flying role... they are virtually brand new and the -101 is a very capable aircraft. Even using them as spares seems like a huge waste and such a shame.  
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:03 pm

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 3):
Salvation Army

Not a part of the US Government. The Salvation Army is a religious based charity, that is actually better than the American Red Cross.
 
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spudh
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:26 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 14):
If a joke without a smiley drops in a thread, was it ever really funny...?

Depends on if the smiley is missing because a bear happened to wander into that part of the thread looking for a latrine and found it instead.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Mon May 06, 2013 2:35 am

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 1):
Their gain. I hope the CF keep at least one intact for VIP duties...
Quoting Oroka (Reply 8):
I would like to see one converted to CH-149 standards to replace the one that crashed in 2006. Spare parts AND frames... quite the bargain!
Quoting sasd209 (Reply 10):
Indeed - perhaps that is worth some consideration by the DND... If they really want to improve the availability of the Cormorant fleet, look into putting 1/2 of the acquired A/C into service and use the remaining ones for spares. Does anybody have any info as to how far from being operational these 9 are and if it would even be possible (or economically feasible) to make them airworthy (assuming they currently are not)?

You are actually not that far off; the Defence Minister just ordered that the military investigate if they can refurbish, certify and equip the helicopters they bought for SAR duties:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...nd-look-presidential-choppers.html

Quote:
MacKay looks to give presidential choppers a second life

Some helicopters from U.S. President Barack Obama's cast-off fleet may yet find their way into the service of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Canadian Press has learned Defence Minister Peter MacKay recently ordered National Defence to take another look at whether some of the nine VH-71 aircraft — purchased for spare parts to keep this country's search-and-rescue choppers flying — can be made fully operational.

MacKay plans to tour the hangar, at IMP Aerospace in Nova Scotia, where the discarded presidential fleet has been housed since the Harper government spent $164 million to acquire it from the Pentagon.

Both the air force and the department's material branch have insisted the American helicopters were only suitable for spares because they do not have an air worthiness certificate, nor an electronics suite for search and rescue.

But MacKay, in an interview with The Canadian Press, says he's ordered a review to see what sort of work would be needed to bring as many as four of them on to the flight line.

"This is something we're very serious about," he said, noting it would be cheaper than buying additional CH-149 Cormorants.

"I'm not saying it would be cost-neutral but I can't think of anything that would have more of an immediate impact" on search and rescue operations, MacKay said.
 
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Mon May 06, 2013 3:23 pm

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 10):
I REALLY, REALLY want somebody to use some of these A/C in a flying role... they are virtually brand new and the -101 is a very capable aircraft. Even using them as spares seems like a huge waste and such a shame.

It's pretty similar to what happened to Australias SeaSprite fleet, they are practically brand new but Karman were unable to deliver them to Australian Navy specs, the NZ govt has just snapped up the fleet and will use them alongside the existing NZ Sprite fleet, some of the existing Kiwi Sprites will be broken up for spares.
 
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Mon May 06, 2013 5:24 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 6):
What a joke, someone in the US needs to go to jail for that deal. Program was cancelled and it's only going to cost BILLIONS more to field what will ultimately be the same damned platform! This government has become a joke.

I take it you mean the institution as a whole?
Politically, it was a Bush era program.

It does seem odd that to give an example, the Saudi's can purchase some EH-101 machines for VIP work, that were delivered and seem to perform. That did not have a price tag you'd associate with a large, brand new airliner, with a plush VIP interior.
Now the Saudi's are not usually shy of flaunting their wealth, including with aviation bling.
They also as rulers not accountable to anyone but themselves, much less any voters, opposition parties, an open press.

When you think it this story in those terms, i'm afraid it just looks even worse.
It seems the procurement machine, in the words of Joe Pesci's character in the film Casino could even 'fuck up a cup of coffee'.
It was meant to be a helicopter to carry VIP's on short hops, not some kind of rotary winged Air Force One substitute, surely?
 
Devilfish
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Mon May 06, 2013 6:17 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It was meant to be a helicopter to carry VIP's on short hops, not some kind of rotary winged Air Force One substitute, surely?

Well, there's a new twist to that.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...uadron-starts-flying-mv-22-385449/

Quote:
"'The Ospreys will conduct presidential support missions, which means these aircraft will carry presidential support staff and news media representatives travelling with the president,' the USMC says. 'The Osprey mission at HMX-1 does not include carrying the President of the United States'."


Apparently, whichever will ultimately be the winner would strictly be Marine One.  
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Revelation
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue May 07, 2013 12:16 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 6):
What a joke, someone in the US needs to go to jail for that deal. Program was cancelled and it's only going to cost BILLIONS more to field what will ultimately be the same damned platform! This government has become a joke.

I take it you mean the institution as a whole?
Politically, it was a Bush era program.

The US procurement system is prone to such runaway programs.

Another prime example was the A-12 Program which happened to be a Reagan/GHWB program.

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It does seem odd that to give an example, the Saudi's can purchase some EH-101 machines for VIP work, that were delivered and seem to perform. That did not have a price tag you'd associate with a large, brand new airliner, with a plush VIP interior.
Now the Saudi's are not usually shy of flaunting their wealth, including with aviation bling.
They also as rulers not accountable to anyone but themselves, much less any voters, opposition parties, an open press.

When you think it this story in those terms, i'm afraid it just looks even worse.
It seems the procurement machine, in the words of Joe Pesci's character in the film Casino could even 'fuck up a cup of coffee'.

Indeed. In the case of VH-71, the program was sold as using commericial off the shelf (COTS) technology and in the end it made a mockery of COTS. Once the program was signed off on, the White House side proceeded to load up the helo with so much kit (sp?) that the program went into a death spiral: more weight meant beefier structure and more thrust to lift it, which meant more weight, and so on.

Apparently the insiders (LM, WH) thought the public would keep paying the bills in the hope that the program would eventually converge on a solution, but that was not to be.

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It was meant to be a helicopter to carry VIP's on short hops, not some kind of rotary winged Air Force One substitute, surely?

Seems GWB's White House didn't feel compelled to keep it simple. Either LM wasn't telling them, or they weren't listening. It's hard to see how the message didn't get through because the program had already barely survived one 'show cause' hearing where they were told to get their kit together or face cancellation. They didn't survive the second.
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trex8
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu May 09, 2013 2:07 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It does seem odd that to give an example, the Saudi's can purchase some EH-101 machines for VIP work, that were delivered and seem to perform. That did not have a price tag you'd associate with a large, brand new airliner, with a plush VIP interior.
Now the Saudi's are not usually shy of flaunting their wealth, including with aviation bling.

All the diamond studded gold fixtures a saudi prince could wish for on a chopper don't compare in price to wanting a secure flying situation room the white house wanted!
 
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu May 09, 2013 2:41 am

Commercial Pilot- SEL, MEL, Instrument
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu May 09, 2013 8:48 pm

Some comments on the CBC story are head shakingly amusing. 'Why are we buying these cast off, second hand pieces of crap'?...etc.

This was probably the defence procurement deal of the century, paying pennies on the dollar for items which have drastically reduced the down time of the entire fleet but may end up netting some flying units...and some are just so anti-current government to be able to pull their heads out and see this for the great move it was.

Absolutely no downside, (and how rare is that?), and still people will whine.

There really should be stricter criteria allowing people to vote...or have internet access.


ps...New record, I think...I had a post in this thread from July 2011 deleted a few days ago. This one is probably not far behind...but it might prove interesting or amusing to some.
What the...?
 
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Thu May 09, 2013 10:16 pm

Quoting flightsimer (Reply 19):
Just saw this... But the RFP has been issued.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...5635/

Interesting article - start a new thread for it?
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ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 5:04 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 20):
Some comments on the CBC story are head shakingly amusing. 'Why are we buying these cast off, second hand pieces of crap'?...etc.

This was probably the defence procurement deal of the century, paying pennies on the dollar for items which have drastically reduced the down time of the entire fleet but may end up netting some flying units...and some are just so anti-current government to be able to pull their heads out and see this for the great move it was.

Absolutely no downside, (and how rare is that?), and still people will whine.

It's both the very poor support for military spending in Canada, and because everyone remembers the trouble it took to get the Victoria class submarines operational, culminating in a fire and death of a sailor onboard HMCS Chicoutimi during delivery. This resulted in a very adverse feeling in the Canadian public for second-hand hardware.

Realistically, if purchasing second-hand is done expediently, and the hardware is looked after when it was with the previous owner (and is transferred immediately upon purchase), it can be a unquestionably good value.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 8:22 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 8):
I would like to see one converted to CH-149 standards to replace the one that crashed in 2006. Spare parts AND frames... quite the bargain!
Quoting sasd209 (Reply 10):
Indeed - perhaps that is worth some consideration by the DND... If they really want to improve the availability of the Cormorant fleet, look into putting 1/2 of the acquired A/C into service and use the remaining ones for spares.

If four could be brought up to flightworthy status at a reasonable cost, that would give a Cormorant fleet of eighteen, 20% more than the original purpose. This would allow Canada to augment capability AND reduce wear and tear on the original frames - a good deal.

It would also be a very good thing to purchase a simulator for the Cormorant. Currently flight crews are being sent to RNAS Yeovilton in the UK for training.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 17):
Quoting GDB (Reply 15):
It was meant to be a helicopter to carry VIP's on short hops, not some kind of rotary winged Air Force One substitute, surely?

Seems GWB's White House didn't feel compelled to keep it simple. Either LM wasn't telling them, or they weren't listening.

LM actively deceiving the public and DND or withholding important information ? Surely you jest !  
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ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 10:21 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 23):

If four could be brought up to flightworthy status at a reasonable cost, that would give a Cormorant fleet of eighteen, 20% more than the original purpose. This would allow Canada to augment capability AND reduce wear and tear on the original frames - a good deal.

More than likely, any aircraft from this conversion will go to 424 Squadron, which will transition from the CH-146 Griffon to provide SAR helicopter coverage out of Trenton.

One of the biggest issues was that they never really purchased enough aircraft in the first place, with the mistaken assumption that buying the same amount of helicopters to cover the same area would suffice. For the longest time, spare parts shortages and initial technical glitches cut into aircraft availability and it was decided that the Trenton SAR area would loose their Cormorant's and use the Griffon's instead while aircraft are distributed to other SAR regions. The Griffon has significant limitations in the RWSAR role, from range, lack of de-icing, no weather radar and cabin space so limited that only one critically ill patient can fit.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 17):
Seems GWB's White House didn't feel compelled to keep it simple. Either LM wasn't telling them, or they weren't listening. It's hard to see how the message didn't get through because the program had already barely survived one 'show cause' hearing where they were told to get their kit together or face cancellation. They didn't survive the second.

More like the customer not knowing what they wanted, which is the worst sort of customer to deal with. Had the DoD, Pentagon, Secret Service and White House sat down together and hammered out what they wanted out of the aircraft beforehand, froze the specifications and most importantly, stuck to the specs, they wouldn't have been in the position they were in. If they were intent on an off-the-shelf purchase, they could have taken their specs to the market, and asked bidders if they thought they could meet the specs as it is. If and only if, bidders said that they had nothing off-the-shelf that required zero development work that could meet the specs, should they go back and review the specs to see if the specifications were realistic in the first place, and then start modifying their specifications until it does work.

When customers keep demanding changes well after the contract is signed, it creates massive headaches for the contractor who is forced to accept these changes, and for those managing the project. Trust me, I've been there, done that, in a couple of past projects where management saw fit to keep demanding changes throughout a project, sometimes well past delivery or contract completion. Bloody headache if you ask me, and you never look good; you keep telling management that costs and risks are going to spiral out of control the more changes are requested, and management gets upset with you for saying no to what they think is a reasonable request, and then when things DO blow up in everyone's faces, you get the blame for not managing costs and risk properly.

[Edited 2013-05-10 04:13:04]
 
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Revelation
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 24):
Bloody headache if you ask me, and you never look good; you keep telling management that costs and risks are going to spiral out of control the more changes are requested, and management gets upset with you for saying no to what they think is a reasonable request, and then when things DO blow up in everyone's faces, you get the blame for not managing costs and risk properly.

Sorry to say, but it sounds like your company has poor internal controls, not that it's all that uncommon.

Most places I've worked a given manager would not be able to demand a change once a program was committed, there'd have to be a change request and it'd have to go through approval cycles that would make the requester show where the money was coming from for such a request and how much resources would be spent fulfilling such a request and what impact committing those resources would have on other tasks. Chances would be good that all the human resources for the program would be fully committed to existing tasks so it would have little chance of being added to the current program, at best it'd be put on the 'wish list' for the next program.

It does create a bunch of overhead doing it this way, but it also avoids the issue you are talking about where a manager tries to push through a pet project or feature without also proving they have the funding to do so. No funding, no work.
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connies4ever
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 5:33 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
Most places I've worked a given manager would not be able to demand a change once a program was committed, there'd have to be a change request and it'd have to go through approval cycles that would make the requester show where the money was coming from for such a request and how much resources would be spent fulfilling such a request and what impact committing those resources would have on other tasks. Chances would be good that all the human resources for the program would be fully committed to existing tasks so it would have little chance of being added to the current program, at best it'd be put on the 'wish list' for the next program.

That is EXACTLY the methodology we use at Atomic Energy of Canada. And, when you raise a CR and submit to management, there is an "impact to program" section. Basically you need to identify what the ripple effect will be on existing deliverables, i.e., you're asked to identify what deliverables will be either deferred or deleted.

Not bad for a government agency.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Fri May 10, 2013 9:56 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):

Sorry to say, but it sounds like your company has poor internal controls, not that it's all that uncommon.

And that's why I don't work there anymore. Lack of internal controls eventually made me want to leave after a couple of other projects were changed without procedure. Mind you, it was the owner who was doing that, and he felt he could override any internal control he wanted.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:23 am

Time for a revival: The VH-71's that Canada picked up could be made operational, especially considering that the current CH-149 fleet is coming due for a mid-life upgrade:

http://www.defensenews.com/story/def...copter-search-and-rescue/28741911/

Quote:
OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force has started looking at a midlife upgrade for its search-and-rescue helicopter fleet that could see the former US presidential helicopters brought into service in Canada.

Canada bought the nine presidential VH-71 helicopters from the US in 2011 to be used for parts for its own AgustaWestland Cormorant search-and-rescue helicopters. But seven of the VH-71s are airworthy, and Canada is now exploring whether they could be modified to take on search-and-rescue roles.

AgustaWestland has submitted a proposal to the Canadian government to do the conversion work, said Jeremy Tracy, who oversees the firm's government activities in Canada. The Cormorants and VH-71s are variants of AgustaWestland's EH-101.

When the Canadian military purchased the VH-71s, it stated that it had no intention to use the aircraft on operations. But there is a concern that a planned midlife upgrade of the Air Force's 14 Cormorants would take a number of those helicopters off the flight line, limiting the country's search-and-rescue capabilities, military sources said.

A stop-gap measure would be to have the VH-71s converted to the same configuration as the Cormorants and fly them to ensure there are no issues with search-and-rescue coverage.

RCAF spokesman Capt. Alexandre Munoz said the VH-71 airframes were originally purchased as "a strategic source of parts to improve CH-149 Cormorant availability by injecting additional parts into the supply chain."

The mid-life upgrade tender is expected to be released in 2017 and cost anywhere from half a billion to 1.5 billion dollars Canadian, depending on how much work is requested.
 
bmacleod
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RE: Canada Picks Up US VH-71 Fleet For Spares

Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:38 pm

Just for curiosity, has a new replacement been selected for Marine One?
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