Canadian Forces’ 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron received its first Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone multi-role shipboard helicopter on Aug. 3, 2018.
CH-148 Cyclone is a military variant of the Sikorsky S-92 four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter developed for the Canadian Forces. The CH-148 is designed by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation for multi-role shipboard operations and will replace the venerable CH-124 Sea King, which has been in operation since 1963.
The Cyclone is to be operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and will conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), surveillance, and search and rescue (SAR) missions from Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships. The helicopter is also to provide tactical transport for operations supporting national and international security efforts.
In 2004, Canada awarded Sikorsky Aircraft a contract for 28 CH-148s with deliveries planned to start in 2009. Deliveries were repeatedly delayed due to development problems until the delivery of six initial helicopters in June 2015.
443 “City of New Westminster” Maritime Helicopter Squadron (French: 443e Escadron d’hélicoptères maritimes) is a Canadian Forces helicopter squadron under RCAF, located at Patricia Bay Heliport on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
The squadron provides maritime helicopter operations in support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet (MARPAC). No. 443 currently flies CH-124 Sea King helicopters, a variant of Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King developed for the U.S. Navy.
The squadron forms part of 12 Wing Shearwater, which also provides maritime helicopter operations in support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic Fleet (MARLANT) from the Shearwater Heliport in Nova Scotia (also the Wing’s headquarters).