February 25, 2021 By Helicopters Staff
The first of three CH-146 helicopters last week was delivered to Bell Textron Canada’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec, to help test avionics systems and engine upgrades. The Canadian Armed Forces noted this milestone marks an important step in the CH-146 Griffon Limited Life Extension project’s plan to extend the helicopter fleet to mid-2030.
This milestone represents Phase 4 of the Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) project. Phase 4 includes initial operational capability planned for 2024 and full fleet operational capability scheduled for 2027, with the final Phase 5 – contract close – scheduled for 2028.
The Canadian Armed Forces currently holds 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters in its fleet. The GLLE project focuses on a range of upgrades, including: Replacing a number of the aircraft’s avionics systems, including communications radios and cryptographic equipment; cockpit voice and flight recorders, navigation systems, automatic flight control systems, and control display units; upgrade the cockpit displays; upgrade engines; and integrate sensor systems.
The Department of Defence notes the project will also upgrade flight simulation and training devices to ensure alignment with the fleet modifications, and the provision of equipment and spare parts. The CH-146 has participated in tactical troop transport, reconnaissance, escort and surveillance, casualty evacuation, disaster relief, special operations aviation support, and search and rescue.