Sikorsky Aircraft has delivered six CH-148 Cyclone helicopters to the Canadian Government, marking an important milestone achieved in the Canadian Forces' Maritime Helicopter Project.
The new delivery marks the first of 28 Cyclone aircraft intended for the Canadian Armed Forces and will replace the existing Sea King fleet that will be retired later this year.
CH-148 Maritime Helicopter Program (MHP) vice-president William Gostic said: "In addition to today's deliveries, Sikorsky will continue developing and enhancing the capability of the Cyclone to meet all of Canada's required operational capabilities.
"In parallel to the development effort, Sikorsky and our Canadian partners are committed to delivering world class, in-service support of the Cyclone to the men and women who fly and maintain the aircraft."
Delivery of the helicopters is expected to be completed in the beginning of 2018 and until then, the Sea King fleet will continue operations to allow for transition.
The Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone is a twin-engine, multi-role maritime helicopter designed to perform a full range of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and utility missions in various environments.
The helicopter can operate with modern high-tech naval frigates and is equipped with numerous safety features, including for law tolerance, bird strike capability and engine burst containment.
Moreover, it will be suitable for day-and-night flight operations, and can fly in adverse weather conditions in temperatures ranging from -51°C to +49°C.
The maximum cruise speed of the CH-148 is 165k and the best range speed is 137k. It can also fly at a maximum altitude of 15,000ft.
The Cyclone conducted 67 sorties, including 322 landings and takeoffs from the HMCS Halifax frigate between December 2014 and May 2015.
Image: Sikorsky's CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Gerry Metzler.