Bell CH-146 GRIFFON
The CH-146 was purchased by the CF to replace four existing helicopters, the CH-136 Kiowa in the observation role, the CH-135 Twin Huey in the army tactical role, the CH-118 Iroquois in the base rescue role and the heavy lift CH-147 Chinook. From the time of its purchase defence analysts have been critical of the aircraft pointing to its procurement as politically motivated and that the aircraft cannot adequately fill any of its intended roles. It has been termed "a civilian designed and built aircraft, with only a coat of green paint."
The Griffon was selected by the army for its flexibility to do more things collectively than the helicopters it replaced. It is used for everything from airlift of equipment and troops, reconnaissance and surveillance missions through direction and control of fire to aeromedical support, casualty evacuation and Search and Rescue (SAR).
The four-bladed Griffon helicopter is powered by two Pratt Whitney Canada PT6T-3D Twin-Pac turboshaft engines. The Griffon has an all-up weight of 5,398 kgs (11,900 pounds) with standard seating for nine and maximum seating for 10 plus the three crew members. The Griffon crew of two pilots and one flight engineer must be skilled in a wide range of battlefield and non-battlefield tasks. Their primary mission remains transporting troops and their equipment. Lightly armed with a C6 machine gun mounted in open doorways, the CH-146 Griffon can carry up to twelve lightly equipped troops or eight fully equipped troops.
The CH-146 is currently employed by the following squadrons:
Tactical Helicopter role
Search and Rescue role
Combat Support Squadrons
Bell CH-146 Griffon