(a) The original estimated operational lifespan of the Sea King was 15,000 hrs or 25 years, 1988.
(b) The current lifespan of the Sea King has recently been extended to 2005. The aircraft with the most flying hours totals 12,011 hours. The average flying hours for the fleet is approximately 10,511.
(c) The following measures are being taken to extend the operational life of the Sea King:
i. Center Section Repair: This involves replacement of the Main lift frames of the helicopter required as a result of fatigue cracking. Repairs to 19 of the 30 aircraft have already been completed. The replacement of the main lift frames for the remainder of the fleet should be completed by may 2002. Each replacement is performed concurrent with the ongoing third line repair and overhaul contract.
ii. T-58-100 Engine Upgrade: This involves replacing components of the T-58-8F model engine that are no longer available with parts that are more readily available and in widespread commercial use. The upgrade, which also provides more engine power, is performed concurrent with the ongoing third line repair and overhaul contract. Five of 30 aircraft have been fitted with the upgraded engine; upgrades on the remaining aircraft in the fleet are to be completed by May 2002.
iii. T-58 Engine No. 4 Bearing Housing: This involves replacing the current bearing housing as the part is no longer available. This replacement started in 1997 concurrent with the ongoing third line repair and overhaul contract.
iv. Main Gearbox Upgrade: This involves upgrading the main gearbox with more durable internal components and an improved lubrication system, required as a result of flight safety concerns—such as incidents where the gearbox overheated—and the T-58-100 engine upgrade. One of 30 aircraft has been modified with the modification of the remaining aircraft in the fleet to commence in January 2000, to be completed by July 2002.
v. ASN-123 Tactical Navigation System Replacement: This involves replacing the obsolete ANS-501 TACNAV computer with the ASN-123 TACNAV, which is a more modern system. The replacement started in 1997, concurrent with the existing second line periodic inspection effort, at 12 Wing, CFB Shearwater.
vi. DC Power Upgrade: This involves either replacing the transformer rectifier units with solid state devices that are more compatible with some of the more modern avionics recently installed or using in-line-noise suppression filters to clean up the aircraft power. Both options are currently under review. Prototype design and installation should occur in fiscal year 1999-2000, with modifications on the remainder of the fleet to commence in fiscal year 2000-2001.
vii. Emergency Inverter Replacement: Repair parts for the inverter that is currently being used are becoming increasingly difficult to purchase. Prototype design and installation will occur in fiscal year 1999-2000, with replacement on the fleet to commence in fiscal year 2000-2001.
(d) i. & ii. Radius of Action and Endurance: In an anti-submarine warfare configuration, 2 hours 15 minutes, plus 30 minute reserve, and in a surveillance configuration, 2 hours 52 minutes, plus 30 minute reserve.
iii. Flight in Icing: No capability.
iv. Weapons Stations: Two external stations, each capable of one MARK 46 torpedo.
v. MAD—Magnetic Anomaly Detection: Seven of 30 aircraft fitted—CH124B model and operational test and evaluation aircraft.
vi. Data Recording: No mission data recording capability: Commercial video cassette recorder, VCR, available for recording forward looking infra red, FLIR, data.
vii. EMP/TREE—Electro-Magnetic Pulse/Transient Radiation Electrical Effects: No capability.
viii. Aircraft Self-protection Suite: Not fitted. Prototype system fitted and tested in one aircraft. Prototype requires additional engineering.
ix. Sonobuoy relay: One channel 5 minute transmit per 15 minute wait—limitation is high frequency, HF, radio duty cycle.
*Question No. 14—