Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Bell Textron will provide maintenance of the Griffon helicopter fleet

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CH-146 Griffon helicopters were notably used during the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. They are currently being modernized.

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Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jean-Yves Duclos, announced Wednesday the awarding of a $2.28 billion contract to aircraft manufacturer Bell Textron to provide upkeep and maintenance of the 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters of the Royal Canadian Air Force. emergency and search and rescue operations, were built from 1994 to 1998 at the Bell Textron plant in Mirabel, Quebec, where Wednesday's announcement took place.

The 15-year agreement provides for Bell Textron Canada to provide maintenance program management, engineering, technical services and design changes , component repair and overhaul, spare parts supply and heavy maintenance services.

According to Ottawa, this contract, which will begin in April 2024, will ensure the maintenance and continued service of the fleet until at least the mid-2030s.

These maintenance operations will be performed in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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This will create or maintain 1,130 jobs across the country, underlines Ottawa.

Bell Textron Canada's operations under this contract could also contribute up to $125 million per year to the country's gross domestic product for the duration of the contract, it is estimated.

This is a second contract awarded to Bell Textron Canada, which was entrusted by Ottawa, in the spring of 2022, with the mandate to modernize the entire of the CH-146 helicopter fleet for the sum of $800 million.

The first [contract] was awarded about a year and a half ago for the helicopter upgrade. These devices, although relatively young, need to be upgraded because technology has evolved since the time they were delivered to the Canadian government, explained Jean-Yves Duclos.

What we are announcing today are maintenance services, because when they are upgraded, these devices will need to be serviced and maintained to a standard necessary for the people of the Canadian Armed Forces, he clarified.

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The CH-146 Griffon is also used for search and rescue operations.

This modernization of the CH-146 Griffon helicopters was all the more necessary as Canada is preparing to take command, in the coming months, of the REASSURANCE mission , in Latvia.

Canada will have a major role in the coming months in Latvia […] where we have the threat posed by Russia's totally unjustified invasion of Ukraine. […] We will need to deploy CH-146 helicopters, indicated Minister Duclos.

The CH-146 Griffon helicopter provides the Royal Canadian Air Force with significant tactical aviation, special operations aviation and search and rescue, both at home and abroad. This in-service support contract will be essential to ensure the operation of this fleet for the next 15 years, added Defense Minister Bill Blair.

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