Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited is to undertake design work to extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters to at least 2031. The first phase of this life extension is the definition phase, during which Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited – the original equipment manufacturer – will develop design changes to upgrade the helicopter’s avionics systems, engines, and cockpit displays, and integrate sensor systems.
This definition work, valued at up to $90 million (including taxes), will be performed under the existing support contract for the CH-146, which was awarded to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited in 2011. The overall scope of the Griffon Limited Life Extension project is estimated to be valued at approximately $800 million (taxes included).
The Griffon, Canada’s multi-purpose utility helicopter, is essential to CAF operations both at home and abroad. The helicopter fills a number of functions, including tactical troop transport, reconnaissance, escort and surveillance, casualty evacuation, disaster relief, special operations aviation support, and search and rescue. “Upgrading the CH-146 will ensure that it continues to make important contributions to the success of the full range of the CAF’s missions and operations,” said the RCAF.
Lieutenant-General A.L. Meinzinger, Commander of the RCAF, added: “Extending the life of the CH-146 Griffon fleet will ensure the longevity of the RCAF’s tactical helicopter capability. These helicopters have performed extremely well over the years and with these new upgrades, they will continue to be a valuable asset that will allow our personnel to carry out missions and operations successfully well into the future.”