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Sikrosky's prototype CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter, under development for the Canadian Forces, has arrived at CFB Shearwater, Nova Scotia, for several weeks of "ship helicopter operational limits" trials with the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal. Shearwater is the home of 12 Wing, which will operate the Cyclones.Photo: SikorskyIt's an outward sign of progress in a program Sikorsky has said little about publicly since development delays forced it to renegotiate its contract with the Canadian government. This delayed first delivery two years, to November this year, with the first 19 of the 28 Cyclones to be delivered in an interim standard that, while not fully compliant with the contract, will allow operational testing and training to begin.Fully capable CH-148s are to be delivered beginning in June 2012, with all interim-standard helicopters to be retrofitted by 2013. The Cyclones will replace Canada's long-serving CH-124 Sea Kings, which entered service in 1963. Planning for replacement of the Sea Kings began in 1977, and along the way included buying 42 EH101s to replace both the CH-124s and CH-113 Labrador SAR helicopters - then canceling them.Photo: SikorskyThe CH-148 is a shipborne derivative of Sikorsky's commercial S-92, with fly-by-wire flight controls, automatic blade and tail fold and an anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare mission system being integrated by General Dynamics Canada. The Cyclone prototype now at Shearwater, aircraft 801, first flew in November 2008.
ar99, Canada, CH-148, Sikorsky
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