Royal Canadian Air Force Extends CH-146 Helicopter Service Life

Royal Canadian Air Force Extends CH-146 Helicopter Service Life. Ottawa plans to upgrade its 85 Bell CH-146 Griffon Utility Helicopters fleet to extend the life of the aircraft to at least 2031. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has announced that Textron Canada will carry out the necessary design and development work to update the helicopter's avionics, engines, cockpit screens and integrated sensor systems.

Pratt & Whitney Canada claims to have been selected to replace fleet engines with its PT6T 9 TwinPac, equipped with an electronic engine control system. The design and development work is valued at USD 67.4 million and will be executed under the existing support contract for CH-146, which was awarded to Bell in 2011. The government announced.

Royal Canadian Air Force Extends CH-146 Helicopter Service Life

Royal Canadian Air Force Extends CH-146 Helicopter Service Life

Once the initial design phase is completed, a separate contract must be awarded to begin life extension work in 2022, says Ottawa. The total value of the Griffon Life Extension program will be approximately USD 600 million.

"The tactical helicopter's capability is absolutely critical to the success of all military operations," said Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defense of Canada. "With these improvements, we make sure our military can continue to rely on this proven helicopter for many years."

The RCAF uses the Griffon helicopter to transport tactical troops, reconnaissance, escort and surveillance, evacuation of victims, disaster relief, air support for special operations and search and rescue missions. rescue

In addition to aircraft based in Canada, the Department of Defense has announced that five Griffons CH-146 are deployed as part of Operation Presence in Mali, a peacekeeping mission that provides an armed escort to the CH-147 Chinooks of the Forces.

Canadians Countries during medical evacuations and transport and supply of troops. The planes are also deployed as a means of transport for Operation IMPACT in Iraq, as part of the mission of the anti-Islamic State, and serve as tactical support and tactical transport for the mission of UNAMI. ARC in Afghanistan.

The aircraft is based on the Bell 412 commercial helicopter, a modern version of the Huey helicopter, which has two turbines and a main rotor composed of four blades. It can transport up to 15 people (two pilots, a flight engineer and 12 passengers), a maximum gross weight of almost 5,400 kg (11,905 lb) and a maximum speed of 140 kt (260 km/h).

The Griffon RCAF fleet has an average age of 21.7 years. While extending the life of the aircraft to at least 2031, Canada has announced that it will begin investigating the next generation of utility tactical helicopters.