August 30, 2018

RCAF Sea King Going Out in Style


As the air force’s venerable CH-124 Sea King helicopter approaches its 55th year in service with Canada’s military forces, an additional $2.1 contract was awarded to extend a contract to ensure they can continue flying until the end of 2018.

As reported this week by the CBC, a spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) confirmed that the contract being prolonged was the one signed 5 years ago for up to $459 million to keep the Sea Kings, designed in the 1950s, flying while awaiting their replacement, the much-delayed CH-148 Cyclone.

The CH-124 predates the unification of Canada’s armed forces in 1968, so it initially went into service for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and designated at that time as CHSS-2. To honour the Sea King’s history to Canada, the RCAF had one of the last Sea Kings (CH12417) repainted in its original RCN colours at a new paint booth located at CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia. On June 13, CH12417 was ferried across to 443 Squadron’s west coast base at Patricia Bay, B.C., from where it will perform navy tasks as well as tour the regional air show circuit during its final six months of duty. At year-end, the aircraft is destined to become a ‘gate guardian’ for the squadron.

Photo above: Spotted on the ramp at the Abbotsford International Airshow in August was CH12417 in its original RCN colours.