Defence Minister Peter MacKay says his department is conducting a "strategic review" of its staff in response to unconfirmed media reports that his department will cut 2,100 of its public service positions over the next three years.

MacKay, who was in Halifax to announce the impending arrival of Canada's first Cyclone maritime helicopter, would not comment on the details of the report in the Ottawa Citizen.

He said Canadians are going through a "belt-tightening exercise" across the country and all government departments are expected to do the same.

"We're looking at ways to achieve efficiencies and achieve maximum results from the Department of Defence," MacKay told reporters on Thursday.

"This refers specifically to civilian employees so we're looking at ways to maximize the efficiency of the department and I think Canadians would respect and expect that."

The Ottawa Citizen, citing leaked Department of National Defence documents, said some of the jobs may be transferred to the private sector and some may disappear through attrition.

According to the documents, there will be 24,790 full-time public servants working for the department once the reductions are complete in 2014. There are no details about where the job cuts will take place, said the Citizen.

Years of delays

MacKay announced Thursday the Canadian military is expected to formally receive its first Cyclone maritime helicopter later this summer after years of delays.

The federal government originally ordered 28 Cyclones in 2004 with a delivery date of November 2008, but the procurement has been marred by postponements and cost overruns. The current price tag for the choppers is $6.2 billion.

The interim Cyclone that MacKay viewed Thursday arrived at CFB Shearwater in Halifax two weeks ago to help train Canadian Forces air crew and technicians.

Sikorsky, the manufacturer of the Cyclone, is expected to formally deliver the first CH-148 Cyclone to the military this summer pending training requirements and an airworthiness certificate, said MacKay.

With files from The Canadian Press