May 2014

2014 MayRoyal Canadian Navy/Sikorsky CH-124A Sea King

The Canadian CH-124 Sea King is based on the U.S. Navy’s SH-3 (S-61) helicopter. This twin-engine, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter was designed for shipboard use by the Royal Canadian Naval Forces. Its compact design allows for folding rotor blades and a folding tail assembly helping it to fit on the smallest warship’s deck (typically destroyers and frigates). Its amphibious hull lends it the ability to conduct an emergency water landing. The first of 41 helicopters were delivered in 1963. While the airframe components were made by Sikorsky in Connecticut, most assembly took place in Longueil, Quebec by United Aircraft of Canada (now Pratt & Whitney Canada). When deployed, the Sea King requires a crew of four: two pilots, one navigator and one airborne electronic sensor operator. The CH-124A Model was the result of the Sea King Improvement Program (SKIP) and added modernized avionics as well as improved safety features. Capable of both day and night operations, the CH-124 is a versatile surveillance aircraft and today remains one of the busiest aircraft in the Canadian Forces. Domestically, Sea Kings contribute to search and rescue (SAR) operations, disaster relief, counter-narcotics operations, as well as fisheries and pollution patrols. Current plans will see the Sea King eventually replaced by the CH-148 Cyclone (a new version of the Sikorsky H-92 Super Hawk).

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