First Flight of Bell CH-146C MK II Griffon Helicopter

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.

Bell is honored to continue our relationship with the Royal Canadian Air Force as they expand their mission capabilities with next generation technologies.

Danny Maldonado, chief commercial officer, Bell

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.

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.

The GLLE program will help ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force is equipped with cutting-edge defense technologies for years to come.

Michael Nault, General Manager, Bell Textron Canada

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.

Source: Bell news release

More Stories
Rheinmetall Lynx KF41 – modular, agile and highly protected family of combat vehicles for global operations