03 November 2005

Chinooks to make come-back?

Sold off to Holland by the Mulroney administration at the same time that the military was organizing a light, heli-mobile brigade, Chinook helicopters may be coming back to the Canadian Forces, according to the Canadian Press.

Other purchases include new transport aircraft and a replacement for the Buffalo search-and-rescue aircraft.

The army needs new heavy helicopters to assist in places like Afghanistan. Contenders for the purchase are said to include the CH-47 Chinook, the CH-53 Sea Stallion and the Sikorsky S-92. Last time I checked, the S-92 wasn't considered in the same class as the other two for sheer lift capacity.

Interoperability with the United States army would favour the Chinook.

The transport aircraft will replace the C-130E Hercules, some of which have been in service since the early 1960s. Most likely candidate to win the competition would be the J-model Herc already in service with the Royal Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force.