Sustaining the Royal Canadian Air Force's fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters

MIRABEL, QC, Jan. 17, 2024 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to extending the life and existing capabilities of the CH-146 Griffon helicopters to support the Canadian Armed Forces and keep Canadians safe.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a $2.28-billion contract to Bell Textron Canada Limited (BTCL) to provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Air Force's active fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters.  

The helicopters fulfill domestic and international missions, including tactical transport, emergency response, and search and rescue. This in-service support contract will sustain the fleet until at least the mid-2030s.

Under this contract, which will begin in April 2024, BTCL will provide program management, engineering, technical and design change services, component repair and overhaul, procurement of spares and heavy maintenance services. The in-service support work will be done in Canada, namely in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which will create or maintain 1,130 jobs across the country.

Through the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, BTCL has committed to providing business activities equal to the contract value that will ensure opportunities for the broader Canadian supply chain, including small and medium-sized businesses.

BTCL's economic commitments to Canada have the potential to contribute at least $125 million annually to Canada's gross domestic product over the life of the contract. 


"This in-service support contract with Bell Textron Canada Limited will help sustain the Canadian Armed Forces' fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters, while also maintaining good jobs here in Canada."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos 
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force, today's investment is yet another sign of our commitment to invest in our aviators to keep Canada safe. The CH-146 Griffon provides crucial tactical aviation, special operations aviation and search and rescue capabilities to the Royal Canadian Air Force, at home and abroad. This in-service support contract will be key in keeping this fleet going for the next 15 years."

The Honourable Bill Blair 
Minister of National Defence

"Canada's aerospace sector is a world leader and a huge benefit to the entire Canadian economy. This project will have an incredible economic impact, benefiting our economy, our supply chain and, most importantly, our aerospace workers."

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"Bell is proud to be awarded the contract by the Government of Canada to provide in-service support for the Royal Canadian Air Force's CH-146 Griffon fleet. 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. Our 1,500 employees in Canada feel privileged to support the members of the Canadian Armed Forces so they can accomplish the full range of missions entrusted to this fleet, at home and abroad."

Michael Nault 
Vice President and General Manager, Bell Textron Canada Ltd. Quick facts

  • BTCL is the original manufacturer of the CH-146 helicopter and has exclusive ownership of all intellectual property rights pertaining to the fleet. The company is therefore the only organization capable of providing the required in-service support.
  • As of 2024, 82 CH-146 Griffon helicopters are in active service, operating out of 11 locations across Canada.
  • On January 16, 2023, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) released a Request for Proposal to BTCL, and a technical and financial proposal was submitted to PSPC by BTCL on April 28, 2023.
  • In May 2022, PSPC awarded a separate contract worth approximately $800 million to BTCL in support of the Griffon Limited Life Extension project, to perform the modifications required on the fleet of CH-146 Griffon helicopters to extend their life until at least the mid-2030s.

NEWS PROVIDED BY: Public Services and Procurement Canada

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

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