Government of Canada awards $800 million contract to extend life of RCAF’s 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters

On May 30th, 2022, Bell Textron Canada Limited (BTCL) was announced as the contractor chosen to extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters until at least the mid-2030s. With an $800 million contract awarded by the Government of Canada, BTCL will be responsible for assessing and defining necessary design changes and associated repairs to the aircraft.

This decision was announced by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, on behalf of the Honourable Minister Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

“I am pleased to announce this important contract award to Bell Textron Canada Limited to keep 85 Griffon helicopters in service, while supporting jobs here in Canada. Canadians take great pride in their armed forces, and it’s important to make sure its members have what they need to keep Canada safe and secure,” remarked The Honourable Filomena Tassi.

“Canada’s aerospace sector is a world leader and a huge benefit to the entire Canadian economy,” added The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne. “This project will have an incredible economic impact, benefiting the economy, the supply chain and, most importantly, the aerospace workers, who are the best in the world.”

BTCL is the original manufacturer of the CH-146 Griffon helicopters and therefore owns the intellectual property rights to the aircraft. The company will assess and define necessary design changes and associated repairs and perform modifications on the first 9 helicopters. After this, they will manage a competitive process to sub-contract suppliers to install modifications on 76 additional helicopters.

Canada’s aerospace sector is a major contributor to the nation’s economy, with over 200,000 jobs and nearly $22 billion in gross domestic product generated in 2020. The country continues to recognize the potential of the Canadian aerospace industry to provide significant contributions to this project.

Through the use of 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, BTCL has applied the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy in order to manufacture a made-in-Canada solution for this project called Team Griffon. This team also includes CMC Electronics and Pratt & Whitney Canada. This will motivate innovation in key industrial capabilities within Canada’s world-leading aerospace sector.

Via Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – the Government of Canada continues to modernize its military equipment to support the Canadian Armed Forces and keep Canadians safe.

“We are proudly celebrating the award and implementation of the Griffon Limited Life Extension project for the Royal Canadian Air Force by the Government of Canada. Our teams, located from the East to the West Coast, in collaboration with industry partners, ensure that the skills required to sustain the Griffon remain resident in Canada. Our 1,300 employees feel privileged to perform the work that will support the fleet of the RCAF for their critical missions in Canada and abroad,” concluded Steeve Lavoie, President, Bell Textron Canada Ltd.

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