The highly technical appraisals were conducted by a team of dozens of air force engineers before then-prime minister
Yet, despite the concerns and the fact that some aspects of Sikorsky's plan were declared "non-compliant," the bid was allowed to proceed based on the assumption the company would be able to overcome the existing problems.
The red flags that were set down by engineers, based on some 475 different evaluation criteria, proved prescient in identifying major issues that have plagued and ultimately delayed the program to the point where the Harper government is now considering scrapping it.
Nonetheless, the program has progressed significantly since the evaluation documents were first produced nearly 10 years ago,
"Sikorsky has either demonstrated ready solutions or fully resolved any technical issues raised in early technical reports," Jackson said in an email.
"The CH-148 Cyclone is the world's most advanced maritime helicopter, bar none. We continue to make solid progress toward completing this program and delivering unrivalled capability to the Canadian Forces."
Officials from the
The Harper government, which is looking at other helicopters, is expected to decide later this month whether to continue with the program.
In terms of the evaluation of the Cyclone engine's airworthiness, the reports show the company was given the benefit of the doubt in 2004 since it had not yet built a military version of the aircraft.
"Sikorsky did not provide some of the (proof of certification) material as required," said the evaluation. "However, the material presented is generally judged to meet the intent of the (Maritime Helicopter Requirement Specifications) requirement."
Evaluators were skeptical about the amount of testing hours devoted to the engine, and rated the risk to the bid as "medium."
Years later, however, the issue resurfaced when it became clear the heavier military requirements made the Cyclones sluggish and less efficient in the air. In 2010, Sikorsky announced it would upgrade the engine to a more powerful model, the CT7-8A7, and the Harper government agreed to spend an additional
Evaluators also raised questions about the helicopter's ability to stay airborne in the event of a catastrophic loss of oil. The report noted that the S-92 "failed on the initial test and did not meet the 30-minute" run-dry requirement _ something that would become significant in 2009 with the crash of an S-92 off
Most Popular Stories
- Twitter Coming to Phones Without Internet
- Entravision Initiates Quarterly Cash Dividend
- Warner Bros. Unleashes 'Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug' Merchandise
- How Monthly Jobs Reports Move the Markets' Needle
- Consistent Hiring Points to Stronger Economy Ahead
- Shanghai Smog Forces Factory Shutdowns
- Thad Cochran, 76, Seeks 7th Senate Term
- How to Arm Yourself Against CryptoLocker Virus
- Eagle Deaths OK'd for Wind Power
- Amanda Bynes Enrolls in California's FIDM