GATINEAU, Quebec --- The Minister of Public Works and Government Services, the Honourable Christian Paradis, and the Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, today announced amendments to the contracts with Sikorsky International Operations, Inc., for the Maritime Helicopter Project.
“These amendments represent a significant accomplishment in getting compliant maritime helicopters with a minimum of delay, while protecting the investment of Canadian taxpayers,” said Minister Paradis. “They will ensure that the Canadian Forces receive the new leading-edge helicopters that they need.”
“The Canadian Forces will now receive their first Cyclone helicopter in November 2010, a date that will allow our men and women in uniform to continue their outstanding work,” stated Minister MacKay. “We’re getting a great aircraft and we have come to the best agreement possible for the Canadian Forces members and for the Canadian public.”
In November 2004, the Government of Canada signed contracts with Sikorsky International Operations Inc. for the Maritime Helicopter Project, to provide 28 helicopters to replace the Canadian Forces Sea King helicopter fleet, as well as 20 years of in-service support and a training facility. In January 2008, Sikorsky formally advised the Government of delays in the original schedule. As a result of in-depth negotiations, these contract amendments were made to minimize the schedule changes, and add valuable cost-effective improvements to the helicopters within the original budget of the project.
This project is a large and complex procurement with many factors affecting the delivery schedule. The government has determined that the delays experienced were largely outside the control of the Contractor. The contract amendments provide the best option to the replacement of the Sea King Fleet with new, state of the art, enhanced capability Cyclone helicopters.
This will ensure that Sikorsky and its major Canadian subcontractors continue to perform work to provide the Canadian Forces with a helicopter that meets the needs of Canada—helicopters that will have the capacity to operate effectively aboard our Navy ships during military roles and missions both at home and abroad.
The Canwest News Service reported Dec. 29 that the “Conservative government has decided that U. S. aerospace giant Sikorsky will not have to pay $36-million in late penalties even though the maritime helicopter it is building for the Canadian Forces is being delivered two years late.
The penalties were put in place when the contract was signed in 2004 as a way to ensure the aircraft would arrive on time.
The original contract called for the first Cyclone helicopter to be delivered to Canada last month but now that won't happen until November 2010.
Instead, the government has cut a new deal with Sikorsky, resetting the clock on when the firm would be liable for late penalties, if at all. The U. S. company has been given another two years before facing any sanctions.
Canadian Forces to Receive Helicopter Fleet with Leading Edge Technology