If Canada ever establishes a comedy hall of fame, to showcase the country’s unique and offbeat sense of humour, there should be a special wing set aside for the Sea Kings helicopter saga.
In terms of comedy, the Sea King is hard to beat: wackier than Jim Carrey, nuttier than Mike Myers, longer lasting than Lorne Michaels and as original and unpredictable as Dan Aykroyd and the entire cast of SCTV. In its own weird way, it even has a sort of John Candy-like loveability. If we ever do succeed in retiring the things, we can’t simply junk them. It would be a national shame, like Harold Ballard chucking out Foster Hewitt’s gondola. If there’s to be no hall of fame, we should at least bronze a couple of them and position them in a permanent place on Parliament Hill.
They have outlasted every prime minister since Pierre Trudeau, and defeated more defence ministers than can be easily counted. They could, if things keep up the way they’re heading, outlast the Liberal party itself. Wars have come and gone, the economy has risen, fallen and risen again. Entire cabinets have shaken their heads in amazement, but still the Sea King goes on. They’ve made more comebacks than the Rolling Stones. At some point we’re going to have to consider adopting them as our national symbol, replacing the beaver with a decrepit helicopter. What says “You’re home” to the weary Canadian traveller than picking up a newspaper and discovering that the Sea King contract is having problems?
I may have been wrong in my comment below and perhaps this video will explain what is really going on. It appears Sikorsky is in transition and they have a winner.
Perhaps we should wait a bit (think F-35).
My Point: I can’t picture a Sea King derivative being very interesting. It’s old technology. On the other hand, knowing Harper’s interest in the F-35, I can picture him in a cabinet meeting saying “now hang on a minute. Do you realize what is REALLY going on here?”
I still feel our procurement process requires modernization as the world and technology speeds up and there is a point where common sense intrudes. Our procurement process (ancient) needs to speed up to capture new technology as it appears. That is a “given”.
On the other hand Harper may be entirely correct to put the brakes on government acquisitions as he stumbles his way through a Chretien enabled “minefield”. And a “minefield” it is.
I won’t elaborate — visitors know full well what I am referring to and I am getting seriously tired of the ongoing Canadian “bullshit“. I would not — EVER- give Mulcair control of my wallet. I am not that stupid (although many appear to be).
Watch the video and think. Something new is coming down the pipe — very fast and combat enabled. Why buy an old “Model C” when we can get something much better? A helicopter “rocket” which can cover much more airspace in the same time-frame.
Tomorrows “chopper” today.
I’m asking people who actually service and fly these things.
“Should we wait?”
I don’t know but I’m beginning to suspect so.