Sikorsky Aircraft is unveiling its latest maritime helicopter version, the CH-148 Cyclone. The new helicopter will make its international debut next week at the Paris Airshow 2011.
Cyclone is under development for the 28 helicopter Canadian Maritime Helicopter Project (CMHP), for the planned replacement of the fleet of Sea King helicopters that have been in operation for almost 50 years. “We believe the Cyclone helicopter represents the ‘aircraft of the future’ for maritime forces around the globe,” said Carey Bond, president of Sikorsky Global Helicopters.
The CH148 recently completed another phase of Ship Helicopter Operating Limits Testing, (also known as sea trials), verifying that flight and deck operations can be executed through a growing envelope and demonstrating how maintenance can be performed efficiently on board. Canadian Forces technicians are now undergoing ground-based training, to be followed by aircrew flight training. The CH148 is derived from Sikorsky S-92 search and rescue helicopter now in use with the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Saudi Ministry of Interior, offshore oil operators and other users throughout the world. In addition to the Canadian program, Sikorsky has proposed helicopters based upon the CH148 design, to the German Navy.
CH-148 is a multi-mission helicopters addressing the full range of maritime missions including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), and utility missions. It is designed for full spectrum shipboard operations with a deck haul down and handling system, CT7-8 marinized engines, hover refueling and designed-in features for shipboard maintainability.
The aircraft has a full glass cockpit with a fully digital fly-by-wire flight control system, automatic blade and tail fold, 360-degree Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), self protection suite, passive and active acoustics, Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), electronic surveillance systems, digital data link and an extensive navigation and communications suite.