OTTAWA - The Harper government is once again re-negotiating the contract to replace the air force's outdated Sea King helicopters.
The Canadian Press has learned officials at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., maker of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, recently told financial analysts the company is bargaining with Public Works for an "alternative contractual solution."
The troubled program is already five years behind schedule.
Michael Maurer, president of Sikorsky, says the original deal with the Liberal government in 2004 wasn't a development contract and the agreement is being rewritten to reflect that.
Sikorsky was mandated to deliver new state-of-the-art aircraft within four years, but the Harper government was forced to extend the contract in 2008 and toss in an extra $117 million.
The auditor general of Canada criticized the Cyclone purchase in 2010, especially the $5.7-billion price tag, about double the original estimate when the program was first proposed in 2000.