BTCL Bell Textron to extend life of Royal Canadian Air Force fleet of 85 CH‑146 Griffon helicopters

On May 30, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, on behalf of Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract worth nearly $800 million to Bell Textron Canada Limited (BTCL) of Mirabel, Quebec, to extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters until at least the mid-2030s.

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BTCL Bell Textron to extend life of Royal Canadian Air Force fleet of 85 CH146 Griffon helicopters BTCL Bell Textron CH-146 Griffon (Picture source: Canadian Government)

As the original manufacturer of the CH-146 Griffon helicopters, BTCL owns the intellectual property rights for the aircraft and is, therefore, the only company certified to assess and define necessary design changes and associated repairs to the aircraft.

Under the contract, the company will perform modifications on the first 9 helicopters, and will then manage a competitive process to sub-contract suppliers to install modifications on the remaining 76 helicopters.

Canada recognizes the potential for the Canadian aerospace industry to provide significant contributions to this project. BTCL established Team Griffon, a made-in-Canada solution for this project, which includes CMC Electronics and Pratt & Whitney Canada. Through the application of the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, BTCL has also committed to business activities that will ensure opportunities for the broader Canadian supply chain, including small and medium-sized businesses, and motivate innovation in key industrial capabilities within Canada’s world-leading aerospace sector.

Canada’s aerospace sector ranks among the top 5 globally for the production of flight simulators, engines and civil aircraft. In 2020, it contributed close to 207,000 jobs and over $22 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product.