Bell Announces First Flight of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CH-146C MK II Griffon Helicopter

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Under the Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) contract, Bell will modernize the RCAF’s CH-146 Griffon Fleet to sustain its capabilities through the 2030s.

Mirabel, Canada (June 20, 2024) – Bell Textron Canada Limited a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the successful first flight of one of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s modernized CH-146 Griffon helicopters, a variant of the Bell 412EP, under the Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) project. Under GLLE, Bell will provide aircraft modifications to a series of the fleet’s aeronautical components, including its avionics systems, cockpit displays, engines, and sensor systems. This news comes nearly five months after Bell was awarded the In-Service Support (ISS) contract that is positioned to sustain the Force’s fleet through 2039. 

“The Bell 412 remains a venerable aircraft of choice for militaries across the world, with the Royal Canadian Air Force operating the largest and best equipped militarized fleet of 412s,” said Danny Maldonado, chief commercial officer, Bell. “Bell is honored to continue our relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force as they expand their mission capabilities with next generation technologies.”

To commemorate this historic flight milestone, Bell hosted an event at Bell’s Commercial Centre of Excellence for attendees to witness the first flight of the upgraded platform.  

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The Royal Canadian Air Force utilizes their fleet of CH-146 Griffons for a multitude of missions, from the provision of world-wide humanitarian relief in support to the United Nations to the provision of Reassurance measures under NATO. The fleet is also extensively employed in Canada for the provision of Search and Rescue services and support to first responders. Last year, the CH-146 Griffon fleet surpassed half a million flight hours.

“As Canada’s only helicopter manufacturer in-country, Bell is a proud partner of the Canadian Armed Forces. Our facility’s local presence provides us with the ability to work closely with the Canadian government, as well as other local customers to address their aircraft needs”, said Michael Nault, General Manager, Bell Textron Canada. “The GLLE program will help ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force is equipped with cutting-edge defense technologies for years to come.”

The first upgraded CH-146 Griffon completed under the GLLE project is expected to be delivered to the Canadian government in 2026 pending military certification.

Founded in 1986 and based in Mirabel, Quebec, Bell Textron Canada Ltd. (BTCL) is focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience and superior service and support for customers around the globe. Represented by more than 1,500 employees and 550 suppliers based from coast to coast to coast, BTCL has built and delivered nearly 6,000 aircraft, with 1,000 provided to Canadian operators. Bell’s Canadian Supply Centre located in Calgary sustains the fleets of local operators including the Canadian Armed Forces, Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard.

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For more information, please contact:

Caroline Couillard

Head of Communications

Bell Textron Canada

514-755-5729

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: www.textron.com.

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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