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Report: Canada to fine Sikorsky over delay

A top Canadian government official said yesterday that the country would impose financial penalties against Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. for delays in delivering Cyclone search and rescue helicopters, according to reports.

Canada in 2004 signed a deal to purchase 28 Cyclone helicopters from the Stratford-based manufacturer and United Technologies Corp. subsidiary for about $5 billion, with the first scheduled for delivery in 2009. That deal was adjusted in late 2008 to push back delivery of the first helicopter to June 2012.

However, Canada has yet to receive its first helicopter delivery, with Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose telling Canada’s House of Commons Feb. 11 that significant penalties would be imposed, according to Reuters.

Based on the contract between Sikorsky and the Canadian government, those penalties could rise as high as about $80 million if the first aircraft is not delivered by June 2013, according to reports.

A Sikorsky representative told Reuters that four Cyclone helicopters have been provided for training purposes, but that they remain on Sikorsky’s books because the Canadian government has yet to officially sign for them.

The spokesman added that the remaining 24 helicopters that make up the order are in production, assembly or flight testing. Sikorsky has contended that the delays are due in part to major modifications requested by Canada, according to reports.

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