CH-148 Cyclone procurement project

Project summary

The Government of Canada is procuring 28 CH-148 Cyclone helicopters. As of July 2018, Canada has accepted 15 Cyclones. The cost is $3.2 billion for acquisition project management, infrastructure and contingency costs. The cost for major in-service support until 2038 is $5.8 billion.

This project has a phased approach for the gradual introduction of capabilities for the Cyclone, called a “blocking strategy”. Throughout this phased approach, five versions of the Cyclone will be delivered, each version building on the configuration for the previous one. The entire fleet will be delivered in its final configuration as Capability Release 2.1.

The project includes associated logistical and in-service support, spare parts, modifications to the Halifax-class ships and construction of a new training facility. The ships will be equipped with a full training suite of flight, mission, and maintenance simulators.

Canada’s new CH-148 is a maritime helicopter that conducts anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and utility missions. The CH-148 Cyclone will provide tactical transport for national and international security efforts.

Project phases

Currently in Phase 4: Implementation

1. Identification

1. Identification

  • Preliminary project approval: June 18, 2003
2. Options analysis

2. Options analysis

  • June 18, 2003
3. Definition

3. Definition

  • Project approval: June 18, 2003
4. Implementation

4. Implementation

  • Request for proposal release: December 17, 2003
  • Request for proposal close: May 14, 2004
  • Bid evaluation complete: August 2004
  • Project approval: November 22, 2004
  • Contract award: November 23, 2004
  • Contract re-baseline to define and implement a blocking strategy for helicopter delivery: June 18, 2014
  • First delivery of Block 1 aircraft: June 19, 2015
  • Last contract amendment: August 3, 2016
  • Initial operational capability: June 7, 2018*
  • First delivery (Block 2): 2018
  • Final delivery (Block 2) December 2021
  • Full operational capability: 2025*

* Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and Full Operational Capability (FOC) were not included in the Maritime Helicopter Project's original approval submission. These were defined later on by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

5. Close-out

5. Close-out

  • Effective project closeout: 2022
  • Project closeout: 2025

Additional information

Project updates

Project updates

February 2019
Two east and west coast based Cyclones embarked on RCN ships for 6 month concurrent deployments.

The ninth Block 2 helicopter was accepted, bringing the total number of Canada's Cyclone helicopters to 17.

January 2019
The eighth Block 2 helicopter was accepted, bringing the total number of Canada's Cyclone helicopters to 16.

August 8, 2018
Patricia Bay commenced flight operations.

June 2018
Six Block 2 helicopters were delivered to Canada.

April 2018
Two Block 2 helicopters were delivered to Canada.

January 2018
The fifteenth and final aircraft in the Block 1 configuration was delivered to Canada.

August 24, 2017
The CH-148 Cyclone release to service was issued by the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The aircraft had been grounded due to software issues.

March 2017
Canada receives an eleventh Cyclone. Progress continues to be made on the delivery of the weapon system.

December 2016
Canada receives a tenth Cyclone. Progress continues to be made on the delivery of the weapon system.

August 2016
Canada accepts nine Cyclones, in line with the schedule set out in June 2014. They have the operational capability to allow the Canadian Armed Forces to begin retiring the Sea Kings.

May 2016
Initial Cadre Training begins on the Capability Release 1.1, permitting test crews to continue operational test and evaluation on the path towards the commencement of formal conversion training and achieving Initial Operational Capability.

December 2015
Two Capability Release 1.1 aircraft are delivered. Capability Release 1.1 expands upon Block 1 by adding sub-surface surveillance and tactical datalink communications, and expands the aircraft certification. The Capability Release 1.1 is the aircraft that will achieve Initial operational capability in 2018.

June 2015
Six Block 1 aircraft are delivered. Block 1 aircraft are Canada’s first six Cyclones, based at Shearwater. They are suitable for aircrew training for operational testing and evaluation in preparation for operational service, including search and rescue, utility transport, and surface surveillance missions.

June 18, 2014
Contract Amendment 004 is signed, defining and implementing a blocking strategy for helicopter delivery.

March 2014
Preliminary Cyclone training is completed.

February 2010
The Cyclone enters its first trials with a Canadian Patrol Frigate.

November 2008
The Cyclone flies for the first time.

Benefiting Canadian industry

Benefiting Canadian industry

Industry engagement was conducted prior to the Request for Proposal being published in December 2003.

The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy was applied to the Acquisition and In-Service Support contracts. As of May 2018, $2.04 billion has been reinvested through IRBs for the purchase of the aircraft. An additional $1.7 billion has been reinvested for in-service support with another $850 million currently being invested.

Additional information is available on the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website:

Maritime Helicopter Project—Acquisition

Maritime Helicopter Project—Maintenance


Some of the links below lead to external websites that may be available in English only

Technical information

Technical information

CH-148 Cyclone technical specifications

  • Fuselage width (W/Stabilator): 3.89 metres (5.18 metres)
  • Height: 5.59 metres
  • Fuselage length: 17 metres
  • Maximum take-off weight : 13 000 kilograms
  • Slung cargo load : 3100 kilograms
  • Maximum speed : 287 kilometres per hour (155 knots)
  • Cruise speed: 222 kilometres per hour (120 knots)
  • Armament:
    • 2 MK 46 torpedoes
    • Door and ramp mounted general purpose machine guns
  • Crew: 4
    • Two pilots
    • One tactical operator
    • One sensor operator
  • Estimated life expectancy: 25 years
Project costs

Project costs

The cost for the acquisition of the CH-148 Cyclone, including project management costs, infrastructure, contracts and contingency, is $3.2 billion.

The cost for major in-service support until 2038 is $5.8 billion.



Block 2 delivery remains on track.

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