Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is displaying the Canadian Forces CH-148 Cyclone multi-mission helicopter at this year’s Paris Air Show. The aircraft on show (Static Display F210) was built under Sikorsky’s Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project (CMHP) and is one of 28 CH-148s that will be produced for the Canadian Forces to replace CH-124 Sea King helicopters, in service since 1963.
Sikorsky, headquartered in Stratford, Connecticut (Hall 3 D108), was awarded the CMHP contract from the Canadian government in November 2004. The first “fully compliant” helicopter is scheduled for delivery in July 2012, with delivery of all 28 by December 2013, according to the Canadian Forces.
Primary subcontractor General Dynamics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (Hall 3 E63), is providing the aircraft’s integrated mission system (IMS) software and hardware. The Cyclone IMS integrates acoustic, radar, electro-optical and self-defense sensors. The first aircraft with complete mission system hardware installed–No. 802–made its maiden flight in July 2009.
Powered by twin GE Aviation CT7-8 turboshafts, the Cyclone is a derivative of Sikorsky’s S-92A commercial search-and-rescue helicopter, designed for shipboard operations with folding main and tail rotors and a deck haul-down and handling system. It will operate from Halifax-class frigates for missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and search and rescue.
The Cyclone has a Rockwell Collins glass cockpit and digital fly-by-wire flight control system. Among other suppliers, Flir Systems provides the Star Safire III electro-optical/infrared sensor; Lockheed Martin, AN/ALQ-210 passive electronic support measures; BAE Systems, ALQ-144 infrared jammer; and Symetrics, ALE-47 flare and chaff dispensers.
Sikorsky said the CH-148 recently completed ship/helicopter operating limits testing, verifying flight and deck operations, as well as demonstrating onboard maintenance.
The company is proposing a helicopter based on the Canadian CH-148 to the German navy as a “low-risk solution” to that service’s helicopter requirements. Partners in that effort include Rheinmetall Defence Group, Ruag, MTU Aero Engines and ZFL.
“We believe the Cyclone helicopter represents the ‘aircraft of the future’ for maritime forces around the globe,” said Carey Bond, Sikorsky Global Helicopters president. “This is a helicopter that offers significant advancements in technology. It is clearing a path for delivery of an extremely sophisticated, flexible aircraft that will be among the most capable maritime helicopters in its class.”