Canada, Sikorsky chopper delivery vowed to the Government

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Sikorsky promises eight Sea King replacements by year’s end, but the entire program is already five years behind schedule and counting

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“Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is still telling investors it will deliver eight Sea King replacements to the Canadian government by the end of December.

In its third-quarter conference call last week, the Stratford, Conn., company said six fully assembled and flight-tested CH-148 Cyclone helicopters are at its facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

This is on top of four choppers the Canadian government is flight-testing in Shearwater. Seven more are being tested at Sikorsky’s operation in West Palm Beach, Fla.

A final deal for the Canadian government to take control of the troubled helicopters is still far away, Sikorsky says.

“I would say that we’re making progress, although it’s slow,” said Greg Hayes, chief financial officer of Sikorsky’s parent company, United Technologies Corp. of Hartford, Conn.

“We haven’t really started formal contract negotiations.

“The good news is the aircraft are up in Shearwater. They’re flying. We’re getting traction with the customer and I think everybody recognizes they want to find a solution here.”

The company said eight aircraft will be delivered to the Canadian government by the end of the year.

Despite four helicopters being at Shearwater, the Canadian government has refused to officially accept them due to a dispute over their capabilities.

The program is already five years behind schedule and counting.

The $3.3-billion contract has turned into a nightmare for both the government and Sikorsky. The company is now losing money on the helicopters and took a $157-million financial hit on the program last year”


SOURCE:
The Chronicle Herald