A spokeswoman with the Department of Public Works said yesterday the government is in ongoing discussions with Sikorsky Inc., the company contracted to supply several new helicopters to replace the Canadian Forces’ aging Sea Kings.

The Globe and Mail reported federal officials are threatening to cancel the $5-billion contract with the U.S.-based company because of delivery delays, and they’re asking for up to $500-million more to complete the work.

Lucie Brosseau would not confirm the report, but said in an e-mail the government is actively engaged with the contractor to understand the cause for the delay of the choppers.

“The contract has provisions for excusable delays and penalties, where applicable,” she said.

“Penalties may only be invoked once delivery date has been missed.”

The delivery of the first aircraft under the contract is slated for January 2009 as originally planned, she said.

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