2019 Canadian International Air Show. RCAF Griffon SAR


Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:00:00 PM

The Griffon Helicopter is up with SAR Techs in the water!

The CH-146 Griffon is a Utility Tactical Transport Helicopter (UTTH) that has been in service since 1995.

The Griffon's primary role is tactical transportation of troops and material. It is also used at home and abroad for:
- search and rescue (SAR) missions,
- surveillance and reconnaissance,
- Army training,
- casualty evacuation,
- counter-drug operations.

The CH-146 has also played a key role in many humanitarian relief operations. While deployed on Operation ATHENA, the Griffon helped reduce the risk of exposing personnel to ambushes, land mines and improvised explosive devices.

Griffons based at 8 Wing Trenton are also used in SAR missions. They can be equipped with a hoist that enables them to extract people and a cargo hook that lets them transport cargo from almost any terrain.

The Griffon can also be equipped with:

- a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) system,
- a Wescam MX-15 electro-optical imaging system,
- a powerful Nitesun searchlight,
- armoured floors and crew seats.

A variety of self-defence weapons can also be fitted for deployed operations.

The aircraft can carry up to 13 people (two pilots, a flight engineer and 10 passengers) and has a maximum gross weight of nearly 5,400 kilograms. The Griffon can reach speeds up to 260 kilometres per hour.

In January 2019, as outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is making investments to re-capitalize and extend the life of equipment to ensure our women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) have the equipment they need to fulfill the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) core missions.

In support of this, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Andy Fillmore, on behalf of Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, announced today that Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited will be undertaking design work to extend the life of Canada’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters to at least 2031.

The first phase of this life extension is the definition phase, during which Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited – the original equipment manufacturer – will develop design changes to upgrade the helicopter’s avionics systems, engines, and cockpit displays, and integrate sensor systems.

This definition work, valued at up to $90 million (including taxes), will be performed under the existing support contract for the CH-146, which was awarded to Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Limited in 2011. The overall scope of the Griffon Limited Life Extension project is estimated to be valued at approximately $800 million (taxes included).

The Griffon, Canada’s multi-purpose utility helicopter, is essential to CAF operations both at home and abroad. The helicopter fills a number of functions, including tactical troop transport, reconnaissance, escort and surveillance, casualty evacuation, disaster relief, special operations aviation support, and search and rescue.

Upgrading the CH-146 will ensure that it continues to make important contributions to the success of the full range of the CAF’s missions and operations.

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