Bell to Upgrade the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Largest Helicopter Fleet

The CH-146 Griffon Canadian fleet is getting a major boost 7 photos
Photo: Bell
Bell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAFBell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAFBell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAFBell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAFBell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAFBell Secures a Major Upgrade Contract for RCAF
Both Bell and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) are celebrating a milestone as they kick off a major upgrade program for the CH-146 Griffon helicopters, the largest helicopter fleet operated by RCAF.
Last year marked the anniversary of Bell’s 35 years of making helicopters in Canada. In addition to the manufacturing seeing an increased global demand for Canadian-built commercial helicopters, it also secured a major contract for upgrading the entire military fleet of CH-146 Griffons.

The original manufacturer of the Griffon was awarded an $800 million CAD ($637 million) contract to extend the life of these aircraft until the mid-2030s. However, it won’t be directly in charge of all the 85 aircraft in the fleet. First, Bell will assess and outline all the repairs and design changes that need to be done throughout the fleet. Then, the first nine helicopters will undergo modifications at the manufacturer’s Mirabel facility.

Lastly, other suppliers will be subcontracted for modifying the other 76 helicopters, and Bell will be the one managing the selection process, with an aim to stick to Canadian industry partners.

The CH-146 Griffon is a utility tactical-transport helicopter that has proven its efficiency in both domestic and international operations. The 56-foot-long (17 meters) helicopter with a rotor span of 46 feet (14 meters) boasts a maximum gross weight of 11,904 lbs (5,400 kg). It can cover up to 407 miles (656 km) and can reach a top speed of 161.5 mph (260 kph).

In addition to its GPS-satellite navigation and Doppler-radar systems, the Griffon is flexible enough to be fitted with various equipment, from self-defense weapons to a hoist for extracting people or cargo from difficult terrain, as well as a powerful searchlight. That’s because the Griffon is known for supporting civilian firefighting and rescue missions. When it’s deployed internationally, it acts as a key element for peacekeeping or humanitarian operations.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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