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23 Jul 04. The Government of Canada today announced the selection of the Sikorsky Aircraft-led Maritime Helicopter Team to replace Sea King helicopters currently in service with the Canadian Forces.

The selection was made as part of Canada’s $3bn Maritime Helicopter Project (MHP) for the acquisition of 28 aircraft. The Maritime Helicopter Team will furnish the Sikorsky H-92 SUPERHAWK medium-lift helicopter and support services over the next 20 years. The first helicopter will be delivered in 2008.

Canada’s new H-92s will be multi-mission capable and will perform anti-submarine patrols, surveillance and ship-borne duties, and a wide range of utility roles such as Search and Rescue support, cargo and personnel transport, and disaster relief support.

“Sikorsky has been a part of Canada’s history for more than 50 years, and we are proud to continue this legacy,” said Sikorsky President Steve Finger. “The MHP specifications are rightfully among the most demanding in the world. There is no better aircraft to fulfill these missions than the H-92.”

Sikorsky Aircraft has reiterated its long-term commitment to Canada by joining with two leading Canadian companies to form The Maritime Helicopter Team.General Dynamics Canada, based in Ottawa, Ontario, is responsible for the H-92 systems integration and will furnish a 100 percent Canadian-developed and built Mission Data Management System. L-3 MAS Canada, based in Mirabel, Quebec, brings proven performance in long-term in-service support for the Canadian Forces.

“General Dynamics Canada has been serving our Armed Forces since 1948, and we have consistently proven our capability to successfully complete large, technically complex projects,” said GD Canada’s President John Watts. “Our team of qualified and dedicated workers are eager to provide the H-92 with a world-class Integrated Mission System. We will draw on the extensive systems integration experience we have gained over the years to ensure the success of the MHP programme.”

Sylvain B├ędard, President of L-3 Communications MAS Canada added: “We are pleased with the selection of the MHT which will provide the Canadian Forces with the next generation maritime helicopter. Our Sikorsky-led team recognizes the advantages of the safety and reliability inherent in the H-92 design and capitalizes on the strength of the Canadian industry partners–GD Canada providing the mission suite and L-3 MAS with the leading role for the provision of in-service support.

“This selection continues the long-standing L-3 MAS tradition as the leading provider of quality, responsive and innovative solutions in support of the Canadian Air Force operational requirements.”

The Sikorsky H-92 Maritime Helicopter Team was selected over the AgustaWestland team and its EH-101 Cormorant offering. A Lockheed Martin/NH Industries consortium NH-90 proposal was eliminated earlier this year.

The H-92 flies faster, farther, is safer, carries more and costs less to operate than its MHP competitor. It builds on the heritage of five million flight hours achieved through the Sea Stallion, SEAHAWK and BLACK HAWK aircraft, and the Sikorsky Sea King that has served the Canadian Forces for more than four decades.

Breaking new ground for medium-weight helicopters, the H-92 provides unprecedented levels of safety and reliability. It is the only rotorcraft in the world certified to the latest FAA, EASA and JAA safety regulations and is designed to the latest specifications for flaw tolerance, bird strike capability and turbine burst protection.

Comment: this is certainly bad news fro AgustaWestland which had pinned its hopes on winning this deal for the EH101 after selection of the aircraft for the SAR role and the possibility of offset fulfillment on the BOWMAN programme. BATTLESPACE believe that Westland briefed the DTI heavily on a possible win during the BOWMAN negotiations

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