Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone

The Sikorsky CH -148 Cyclone is a military helicopter for the Canadian Forces, which is powered by two turboshaft engines. The helicopter is based on the civilian version of the Sikorsky S-92 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The military version is designed for the Royal Canadian Navy. The new helicopters to replace the aging CH -124 Sea King, which are used since 1960. The helicopters are operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force for the Canadian Navy. The helicopters are equipped with weapons for submarine hunting, and used as a search and rescue helicopter. The Canadian Forces have ordered a total of 28 of these helicopters. The full operational capability was planned for December 2013, but to date not yet been reached ..


The Canadian Forces Maritime Helicopter Project (MHP ) was launched during the 1980s. At that time they decided on the purchase of 50 new helicopters from the rod of the type CH -149 Cormorant AW of which already have a first delivery in the variant were asked as a search and rescue helicopters in service. Due to a change of government in 1993 further deliveries, however, were canceled again.

At the beginning of the new millennium a new competition to replace the CH -124 Sea King has been started. On 23 November 2004, the CH -148 from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation was declared the winner. The cost for the 28 CH -148 were estimated to total $ 1.8 billion and the first CH -148 should be delivered by January 2009. Sikorsky's local subcontractor General Dynamics Canada and L-3 MAS are responsible for maintenance. This includes the operation of the Maritime Helicopter Training Centre with two simulators. There were also additional contracts for spare parts and support.

The first flight of a CH- 148 (serial number 801) took place in Florida on November 15, 2008. In March 2010, the first flight exercises on the HMCS Montréal -offs and landings as well as other exercises began.


The CH -148 is based on an enlarged airframe of the S -70 Seahawk. The cell consists of a metal and composite frames. The main rotor is vierblättrig and wider and longer than that of the S-70 Blackhawk. A number of security enhancements have been added. So the helicopter has a protection against bird strikes and has improved flight characteristics at various aircraft movements. An active vibration system reduces vibrations in the cabin, which makes for a more pleasant flight.


  • Crew: 4 ( 2 pilots, 1 tactical coordinator, 1 radar supervisor )
  • Capacity: 6 in mission configuration, up to 22 people in transport configuration
  • Length: 20.9 m
  • Rotor Diameter: 17.7 m
  • Height: 4.7 m
  • Maximum take-off weight: 12,993 kg
  • Engines: 2 × General Electric CT7 - 8A7 turboshaft, (each 2,238 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 306 km / h
  • Service ceiling: 4,572 m
  • Armament: ( Only planned integration) 2 × MK -46 torpedoes on side-mounted external load stations
  • 1 x C6 GPMG seitenlaffetiertes 7.62 -mm machine gun with 100 rounds of ammunition

The CH -148 is to be equipped with a system for search and localization of submarines. Further features of the helicopter systems for defense of approaching missiles. The integrated mission system was developed by General Dynamics Canada, as well as the Sonobuoy Acoustic Processing System. The helicopter has radar systems of the type Telephonics APS - 143B, an EO system from Flir Systems SAFIRE III, a sonar -type of the model L-3 HELRAS and an ESM Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-210. CMC Electronics has developed the flight management system of the type CMA - 2082MH.

Development and introduction

The first deliveries were scheduled for November 2008. Because of U.S. arms export restrictions on components of the CH -148 by the U.S. government and other problems, the Canadian government approved in April 2009 to extend the delivery period by two years. In May 2011, a CH -148 was delivered by the manufacturer on the Canadian military base, CFB Shearwater, but did not meet the contract requirements; he was not taken by the Canadians and therefore remained in the possession of Sikorsky. As a new delivery of the CH -148 of June 2012 was specified. Sikorsky had come to this event a CH- 148, which was not taken back by the Canadians. Subsequently, the Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay said the purchase of the CH -148 to worst procurement in Canadian history. About the nature of the problems that led to the non-acceptance of the CH -148, make both sides no details. Due to the weight gain during the development phase of more powerful engines and more powerful gear had to be installed. Both should still produce excessive vibration and not be certified. The mission software is indeed finished, but not yet been integrated into the CH -148. There are penalties for delays due but Sikorsky has not paid no penalty. Sikorsky wants to discuss the next steps with respect to the CH -148 with the Canadian government. The current software for the operational systems, should control which weapons use and self-defense, does not work. The exchange of data via the Data Link is not yet operational. The duration is 21 minutes less than minimum required by contract. Next, the turbines do not meet the desired performance at Einturbinen - emergency or in tropical and desert-like areas. It should initially interim CH -148 are supplied to the training of crews that are to be upgraded later to the state contract. Since the Seakings should be decommissioned in 2015, the 28 CH -148 to be delivered by 2018 and fully applicable. Since no single milestone was reached in the procurement and deployment, has been debated in September 2013 on the termination of the contract and procurement of another helicopter.

Potentially interested parties

The German Navy had in 2011 a non-binding interest in the CH -148 expressed to replace their Sea Kings.

Comparable helicopter

  • AgustaWestland CH -149 " Cormorant" ( AW101 )
  • AgustaWestland AW159
  • Eurocopter EC.725 " Caracal "
  • Sikorsky MH -60R " Strikehawk "
  • NHI NH- 90NFH " Caiman "