About the CH 124 Sea King

About the CH 124 Sea King

The Sea King entered Canadian service with the Royal Canadian Navy in 1963 as an anti-submarine helicopter designed to operate from an aircraft carrier. 

When Canada retired its last aircraft carrier, the Canadian Sea King showed the world what operating big helicopters from small warships in high sea states could offer modern naval forces.

The Sea King adapted again at the end of the Cold War to become a multi-purpose naval helicopter with new sensors and weapons.  It has served in a diverse spectrum of military operations – from the waters and territory of Somalia to UN operations in the Persian Gulf and South Pacific, to NATO operations off Libya and throughout the Mediterranean and Black and Baltic Seas to counter-piracy, counter-narcotic, and counter-terrorism operations around the globe. 

It has supported disaster relief operations both in Canada and abroad, including the southern USA, New Zealand, and most recently with HMCS St John’s in Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 


The CH-124 Sea King is a shipborne 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.

Technical Specifications

Length: 16.67m
Rotor Span: 18.9m
Height: 5.8 m
Empty Weight: 6,591 kg
Maximum Gross Weight: 9,318 kg
Power: 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
Range: 740 km
Equipment: Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), Passive/Active Sonar, Surface Search Radar
Weapons System: Mk 46 Mod V homing torpedoes, self-defence machine gun
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 navigator, 1 airborne electronic sensor operator
Year(s) procured: 1963 to 1969
Quantity in CAF: 21
Location(s): 12 Wing Shearwater, NS; Patricia Bay, BC