RCAF Griffon Helicopter Life Extension Contract Awarded

The federal government has awarded Bell Textron Canada Ltd. (BTCL) a contract worth $2.28 billion to extend the service life of the RCAF’s fleet of 82 CH-146 Griffon helicopters, which are a variant of the Bell 412EP. The Griffon fulfills a variety of roles for the Canadian Armed Forces, including reconnaissance, search and rescue, troop transport and aerial firepower.

The original fleet was ordered in 1992 and its projected life at that time was 30 years. This life extension contract is meant to sustain the fleet for another 10 years. The work will be coordinated from Bell’s factory at Mirabel airport in Quebec, where the fleet was manufactured (and where all Bell’s civilian helicopters are made). BTCL will manage the life extension program and provide engineering and technical expertise, procurement of spares, and component repair and overhaul. Most of the actual work will be performed at various locations across the country where the Griffons are based.

“This in-service support contract with [BTCL] will help sustain the Canadian Armed Forces’ fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters, while also maintaining good jobs here in Canada,” according to federal procurement minister Jean-Yves Duclos.

This contract is in addition to an $800 million contract awarded to BTCL in May 2022, also to extend the service life of the fleet.

BTCL, as the original manufacturer, claims exclusive ownership of all intellectual property rights to the Griffon and therefore is the only organization qualified to perform the work.

“In collaboration with our many partners in the aerospace industry, our teams deployed across the country will ensure the skills required to support the Griffon remain in Canada,” said BTCL’s vice president and general manager Michael Nault.