CH-124 Sea King


Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Aircraft


CH-124 Sea King



The CH-124 Sea King is a ship borne maritime helicopter with unique capabilities. The aircraft’s compact design boasts a fold-up rotor and tail that help it to fit on even the smallest warship’s deck. Its amphibious hull enables it to conduct an emergency water landing.

The CH-124 is powered by two turboshaft engines and is equipped with subsurface acoustic detection equipment and homing torpedoes. Employing these, the Sea King lifts off from destroyers and frigates to locate and destroy submarines.

Capable of flying in day or night, the CH-124 is a versatile surveillance aircraft. It was procured mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), but has expanded its role since coming into service in 1963. Domestically, Sea Kings contribute to:

  • search and rescue (SAR) operations
  • disaster relief
  • counter-narcotic operations
  • fisheries and pollution patrols

The helicopter also plays a vital role in international peacekeeping operations. It has been heavily committed to the international campaign against terrorism conducting hundreds of missions to transport troops and locate suspicious vessels.

Indeed, the Sea King remains one of the busiest aircraft in Canada’s Air Force. The Sea King is set to be replaced by the CH-148 Cyclone.


Named OperationsYearLocationHow the aircraft was employed
CARIBBE Annually Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean Conducts surveillance, resupply and personnel transport missions as part of a multinational effort to stop trafficking.
REASSURANCE 2014-Ongoing Europe Resupplies ships, carries personnel and conducts surveillance missions.
ARTEMIS 2012-Ongoing Middle Eastern waters In support of the Canadian Armed Forces’ mission to help stop terrorism and make Middle Eastern waters more secure, carries supplies and personnel.


Technical specifications

Technical specifications

Aircraft Description 

Although one of the oldest Aircraft in the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Sea King is also one of its busiest. It has seen service in a variety of international and domestic roles in recent years including the Persian Gulf, Somalia, Yugoslavia, East Timor, Manitoba Floods, and Haiti.



Rotor Span



5.8 m

Empty Weight

6,591 kg

Maximum Gross Weight

9,318 kg


Two 1500 SHP General Electric T-58-GE-8F/-100 turboshafts

Maximum Speed

222 km/h

Cruising Speed

167 km/h

Service Ceiling

3,048 m


740 km


Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), Passive/Active Sonar, Surface Search Radar

Weapons System

Mk 46 Mod V homing torpedoes, self-defence machine gun


2 pilots, 1 navigator, 1 airborne electronic sensor operator

Year(s) procured

1963 to 1969

Struck off strength 2018

Quantity in CF



12 Wing Shearwater, NS
Patricia Bay, BC



A photo taken from the cockpit of a helicopter flying over water. Through the aircraft windshield, a ship can be seen. On the right, in the helicopter, is a man wearing a flight helmet.

Search and rescue means changing priorities in an instant

Officer Cadet (now captain) Victor Weston recounts how a routine flight rapidly became a full-blown search and rescue operation, a reality that SAR Techs face every day.
September 8, 2020

A smiling woman wearing a disruptive pattern uniform sitting at a table works with a sewing machine.

Our people: Corporal Teri Brown

“I explored the Canadian Armed Forces website and was immediately called to the Aircraft Structures Technician trade. To me, it was a perfect match,” says Corporal Teri Brown, who works at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia.
March 25, 2020

CH12428 on ramp

CH12428 Sea King - Epilogue

The CH124 Sea King was operating from 443 Squadron, in Pat Bay, BC, with a crew of four. 
May 11, 2015

CH12424 Sea King

CH12424 Sea King - Epilogue

During an over water CH124 Sea King pilot conversion flight south of Vancouver Island, the crew, consisting of a maritime helicopter flight instructor, a student pilot, an air combat systems officer, and an airborne electronic systems operator, carried out various tactical manoeuvres in accordance with the maritime helicopter co-pilot training plan.
December 2, 2014

CH12435 accident site

CH12435 Sea King - Epilogue

The crew planned a night trainer in the local Shearwater area and boarded the aircraft during a hot refuel with engines running and rotors turning.
July 16, 2013

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