December 22, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
From the Royal Canadian Navy:
Civilian and military personnel from various agencies successfully completed flight testing on board HMCS Fredericton in early December to define the ship/helicopter operating limits for the CH124 Sea King helicopter operating from the newly modernized Halifax-class frigates.
The often harsh conditions facing a ship at sea can make it extremely challenging to land a large helicopter on the deck of a frigate while underway. The data collected during these tests, conducted in the Northern Atlantic Ocean from December 2 to 9, will serve to establish the safe limits for shipborne air operations.
Partner agencies involved in the project included the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE), the National Research Council, Defence Research and Development Canada – Atlantic, and 12 Wing Shearwater, which provided the Sea King and the personnel to maintain it, and to augment the AETE flight test team.
This testing was required because the Halifax-Class Modernization Frigate Life Extension program included significant superstructure changes to the ship which had the potential to affect the accuracy of the mast-mounted anemometers and the wind characteristics over the flight deck. Without the revised wind and deck motion limits, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) would be unable to conduct helicopter operations, severely limiting the ship’s capabilities.
Thanks to the success of this joint operation, Sea King crews will be permitted to operate from this class of ship commencing in 2014, ensuring continued excellence at sea as the RCN transitions to its future fleet.