• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

CH-146 Griffon

What is the difference between the new mid-life upgrade vs. a UH-1Y conversion? I wonder what the reasoning (beside cost) would've been to not go the way of the USMC. Could've thrown Bell's Mirabel plant more money.
About 50% of what the UH-1Y upgrade was, give or take. Avionics and a mild tweak to the engines (FADEC and better thermodynamic efficiency of the hot-end).

The USMC essentially kept the UH-1N’s data plate then built a massively up-powered (T700s similar time Black Hawk and Apache...much greater power than the Griffon’s T400/PT6-3) driveline and avionics around that data plate.  The USMC also has the AH-1Z ‘Venom’ to share driveline upgrade costs with...not so in Canada.  It is (pretty much) safe to day that it would be a cold day in Hell before Treasury Board let DND do with the Griffon what the Marines did to their Hueys.


Didnt they let it happen when we upgraded the LAV3 to the LAV6? Or was that just the worst kept secret in NATO.
PC, having stayed at a Holiday Inn Express ( ;D ) and having seen a LAV 6.0 up close, but not operating it, I can only ‘guesstimate’ the validity of your LAV 6 v 3 thought, and I’d say that it’s a pretty decent analogue to the UH-1N to UH-1Y ‘upgrade.’  I’m pretty sure there is limited physical commonality between the 3 and 6.  The 6 is just plain big(ger)!
UH-1Y upgrade is probably unrealistic but the mid life upgrade should buy time for the maturation of the next generation of helicopters


Old Sweat said:
What would the aircrew qualification badge look like?

How about this?

It should resonate nicely with the septuagenarian class that seems to be running most of the world these days :)



  • Tarzan Badge.jpg
    Tarzan Badge.jpg
    91.3 KB · Views: 71
Someone can correct me if I'm mistaken... but I thought the USMC decided to just buy brand new helicopters with the UH-1Y. Or did they upgrade some and buy some?

I work on the Griffon, and I never knew what people meant when they said, "We have a civilian helicopter painted green." Until we went on an exercise at USMC Air Station New River and I saw the UH-1Y up close... they have a military helicopter. Yet the Americans were still going bonkers over our Griffon  :rofl: They thought it was the coolest thing ever.

A few weeks ago, the 1 Wing Commander visited our unit and said that with this "upgrade" he would consider calling it the Griffon 2.0  ... we'll have to wait and see.
No, the UH-1Y was a “rebuild” program, not a replacement.  That said, the amount of old UH-1N retained in a UH-1Y airframe is minimal.  I heard a Bell employee once joke that only the data plate and the small cargo door (forward of the sliding door) was kept.

Modern avionics and the power train tweak (FADEC “Dash-9” engines and MGB upgrade to the 1350 shp from the 1136 shp model, of those are still in play) would make the Griffon (2.0) a decent machine for what it is.  It won’t be a UH-60 class machine, like the UH-1Y now is (similar MAUW of 20-21k lbs, similar T700-based driveline), but it’s a decent machine and more capable than the original CH-135 Twin Huey (‘CUH-1N’).


Have they ever put a Griffon on floats?


  • Bell-CH-135--110--on-floats--1975--Mike-Kaehler.jpg
    65.7 KB · Views: 140
No, Twin Hueys and Kiowas only.  No Boaty McBoat Griffs.
Colin P said:
Most of the Beavers flying today are new planes built around old data plates.
I rebuilt a few of them. Awesome plane and fun to work on. Even more fun when the pilot and owner took possession of their new old plane.
Good2Golf said:
No, Twin Hueys and Kiowas only.  No Boaty McBoat Griffs.

Challenge accepted! We got some pool noodles hanging around here somewhere...
Drallib said:
Challenge accepted! We got some pool noodles hanging around here somewhere...
Those would probably put it over max takeoff weight...
Has anyone ever proposed shrinking the domestic SAR role and using some of the CH-149s as utility/transports for Army operations? We could then dedicate our CH-146 Griffons to the escort/close support role and re-designate those squadrons as such.

The Canadian Coast Guard has better equipped and more capable Bell 412s than the RCAF and could probably drop some scientific/research roles to make room for an increase in domestic SAR.
No.  SAR is an International obligation, it isn’t appropriate for Canada to reduce its rotary-wing SAR capacity.

Your logic seems to be that the Griffon isn’t as capable in what it’s doing now, so it’s needs augmentation on the battlefield, yet the CCG’s 412s (and evening smaller 429s, I assume) take over from the Cormorants.

This isn’t a valid plan.  Across the Tac Hel Sqns there are somewhere around 50+ Griffons dedicated to the utility / tactical transport role (which includes escort, ISR and close combat attack as was performed in Afghanistan and Iraq).

Are you familiar with the experiences of the RAF using the Merlin in Iraq and Afghanistan?
On the Great Lakes (international waters), it doesn't seem we are living up to our obligations.  Unless an incident is within about an hour of Trenton, if you need air assets, particularly rotary, the reality is that it is coming from the US.  We keep saying it's a partnership, but that's like saying we're co-hosting a party and I'll bring the napkins and you do everything else.

I sometimes get confused by some positions.  Unload responsibilities to the CG but make the CG more like or part of the CAF?

Last week, off Manitoulin Island, well inside Canadian waters:

The Federal Government if it so chooses could create a new agency that could combine existing marine, air and land resources, similar to how it created Transport Canada in the early 60's. It could hive off the SAR Squadrons, both rotary and fixed wing, plus the RCC's from the military. Take in RCMSAR, the dedicated SAR stations from the CCG. Land based it might have to create a parallel to to the Ranger Patrols. There would be pluses and minus to doing this. Also the Feds could operate a fleet of water bombers that can be dispatched across the country, along with temporary employment program providing basic training for emergency and SAR response to major incidents. One big issue is that it would reduce "Defense spending", even if it does not create any new resources, that may not look good to our allies, even if all we are doing is reducing "non-pointy stick bits". They might get away with it, if it is a "Special Operating Agency" under the purview and budget authority of the MND, in which case any additional funds and resources get tagged towards the 2% GDP.