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CH-146 Griffon

lenaitch

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Just an outsider looking in, and from a perspective of Ontario.  Federal SAR responsibilities are for water and air incidents.  Even at that, I believe the federal responsibility for water incidents is primarily coastal and international waters, which includes the Great Lakes, not for inland lakes.  Land-based and inland water searches are the mandate of the province; in Ontario that falls to either the OPP or police service of jurisdiction.  The JRCC will respond to requests for provincial assistance.  Most often the police are assisted by Natural Resources personnel and/or civilian volunteer SAR organizations and sometimes local fire services.  Any of the community-based volunteer SAR organizations that I have been involved with are dedicated and decently equipped, and are supported by donations and grant funding.  One problem is, when involving volunteer organizations such a SAR and fire, if a search becomes protracted, many are at the mercy of their employers.  I have never been involved, or heard of federal personnel utilized in ground searches.  Ranger units did not exist in remote northern Ontario FN communities when I was up there and perhaps they have an involvement now.

If the mandate of dual-roled (transport and rescue) squadrons was split, I'm not convinced the two halves would equal the whole without additional assets.

I'm not convinced of the benefit of federal involvement in a water bomber fleet.  Maintenance of natural resources is a provincial responsibility, and they have fairly effective mutual aid agreements for both assets and personnel.  I'm not sure what the feds would bring to the table.  I don't recall seeing dedicated water bombers (i.e. CL-2/415s) used in searches although imagine it could happen.

It is true that the federal government could do things it so chooses (either within the Constitution or with provincial agreement).  If they wanted to do something that would further distance the military from the average Canadian and remove the meager funding and support that the voters allow the government to currently get away with, this might be one.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I agree with you a fair bit, but having been there during the CCG from TC to DFO, to being a SOA under DFO and met people who were transferred from RCAF to CCG lock, stock and barrel, it has been done before and will be done again. Even my own group went from PW>TC/CCG>DFO/CCG>DFO Habitat Branch (for 11 days)>TC/Marine>TC/Programs.

Have also been there when CCG tried to shut down both Sea Island Hovercraft base and Kits SAR base because "CCG is not responsible for inland SAR or a crash just off the airport". CCG has a big ship bias, however it's just as likely that eventually all Navaids work will be contracted out, as could icebreaking for the most part.
 
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If the Canadian Coast Guard Bell 412EPs were equipped with a SAR hoist, would they not be a superior SAR platform than the CH-146 Griffons?
 
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I was able to check out a CCG Bell 412EP in near-North Ontario this summer and I noticed the instrumentation, the weather radar and many other things that were very different than how I remember the CH-146 cockpit looking.

If the CCG models had a SAR hoist, would they be the superior bird for SAR?
 

Colin Parkinson

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Than the Griffon?

Bell 412EP
Shaft HP 1,800 to 1,875
Max T/O Weight: 11900 Lb
Operating Weight: 7872 Lb
Fuel Capacity: 331 gal Lb
Payload Useful: 5100 Lb
Payload W/Full Fuel: 1814 Lb
Max Payload: 4028 Lb
Max Range: 357 nm
Service Ceiling: 20000 ft
Rate of Climb: 1780 fpm
Climb Rate One Engine Inop: 400 fpm
Max Speed: 126 kts
Normal Cruise: 122 kts
Economy Cruise: 126 kts

Griffon
Shaft HP 1,250 shp
Maximum speed: 139 kn (160 mph, 257 km/h)
Cruise speed: 118 kn (136 mph, 219 km/h)
Range: 354 nmi (407 mi, 656 km)

The Bell 412EP has roughly 600-700 more shaft horsepower, although the ranges look similar on paper, my guess is it can go father and faster than the average Griffon. More SHP normally makes flying easier and gives the pilot more options. The Bell 412EP is new and the Griffon is 25 years old, so the avionics, reliability, crew comfort will all be better. So I would feel comfortable in guessing that yes it would likley be a better platform for hoisting from. The only CCG to be fitted with a hoist that I am aware of was the Sikorsky based out of Seal Cove, Prince Rupert. She was involved in a number of notable rescues, although that was a very secondary role. 
 

MilEME09

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http://natoassociation.ca/canadian-attack-helicopters-a-much-needed-capability/

Related due to the note that the senate defense report has noted the Griffon is insufficient to provide escort.
 

PuckChaser

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It's insufficient for a lot of things we ask it to do, but some pretty skilled pilots make it happen.

If we ever bought attack helos my VOT would be filled the next day. Likely I'm staying a Signaller until I retire...
 

Good2Golf

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Canada will get SSNs before it ever gets AHs.  I’m willing to bet that, Senate Committee Report notwithstanding, we don’t get 24 AHs, we don’t get 21 more Chinooks and the Griffon replacement program is not at all accelerated. In Afghanistan, the Griffons, properly employed, both as Chinook escorts and as close combat attack (CCA) assets, were a decent capability.  The Brits pulled their Lynx helicopters (Guinness Book record holder for fastest production helicopter) out of AFG in the summer because it didn’t have enough power, amongst other things, to keep up with the Chinooks.  Loaded out, Apaches were actually slower than the Griffon, and were used more for picket duties and CAS to conventional forces, than for escorting other helicopters like the Chinook.

For the time being, money is better spent in the Griffon to upgrade its avionics, transmission and engines and add a fourth axis to the auto-pilot.  There rest of it really isn’t broken for the doctrinal and practical tasks it’s tasked to accomplish.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
 

PuckChaser

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G2G, is all that stuff on tap for Griffon LE project? Having a beer with a Griffon Tech a while ago, he remarked they were working on Bell 412 V1/2 avionics when Bell has moved onto V5 and beyond...
 

dapaterson

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https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/procurement/ch-146-griffon.html

The Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) project will extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters to at least 2031. To do so, we will:

replace 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.
 

Colin Parkinson

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How to "upgrade" a 1990's helicopter, remove data plates, attach to assembly of new bits in the shape of a helicopter, sell old bits as "parts".
 

Colin Parkinson

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Seems India found a way to create a "Light attack Helicopter" 20mm and AT missiles. Based off of a German design. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_Dhruv
 

Good2Golf

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PuckChaser said:
G2G, is all that stuff on tap for Griffon LE project? Having a beer with a Griffon Tech a while ago, he remarked they were working on Bell 412 V1/2 avionics when Bell has moved onto V5 and beyond...

PC, yes, the Griffon had a basic integrated avionics system including autopilot and flight director, but hybridized with standard mechanical instrument panel that essentially looked like the Twin Huey’s. Not sure the specific design of the configuration the Dapaterson noted with GLLE project details, but would most likely be more of a fully-integrated EFIS/‘glass cockpit’, with just a few mechanical standby instruments (similar to the Chinook).

Colin P said:
Seems India found a way to create a "Light attack Helicopter" 20mm and AT missiles. Based off of a German design. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_Dhruv

ColinP, the Dhruv is essentially a license-built (then) MBB BK-117, which initially started design as the same aircraft considered for the CFLH (Cdn Forces Light Helicopter) a late-80s/Early-90s project to replace the CH-136 Kiowa. Doctrinally, the Dhruv is an ‘armed helicopter’, not an attack helicopter.  It took
Over a decade to develop. It has minimal armour and self-protection capability.  It’s hybrid armed utility role is unlike a dedicated AH such as Apache, Cobra, Tigre, Mangusta, Rooivalk, Hind, Hokum, Havok, etc.  As well, you have to wonder about an aircraft when the Ecuadorians cancel an order for them because it is....’accident-prone’.

Regards
G2G
 

Drallib

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Judging by past aircraft, the Griffon will be in service until 2045.
 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/procurement/ch-146-griffon.html

The Griffon Limited Life Extension (GLLE) project will extend the life of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of 85 CH-146 Griffon helicopters to at least 2031. To do so, we will:

replace 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.

Hopefully an upgraded engine would provide greater power and lift to allow more versatility for the airframe. I know they tested rocket pods on the Griffon but among other issues it proved to heavy. Allowing something like rockets on a Griffon would give it more support potential.
 

dapaterson

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I suspect the engines are being upgraded to the current in-service model (to reduce NRE costs); I don't think the old ones are still in production.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
Hopefully an upgraded engine would provide greater power and lift to allow more versatility for the airframe. I know they tested rocket pods on the Griffon but among other issues it proved to heavy. Allowing something like rockets on a Griffon would give it more support potential.

Yeah, let's get that airframe up to the standards of 1966 technology or so ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohcvIHNbOHc
 

Colin Parkinson

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Good2Golf said:
ColinP, the Dhruv is essentially a license-built (then) MBB BK-117, which initially started design as the same aircraft considered for the CFLH (Cdn Forces Light Helicopter) a late-80s/Early-90s project to replace the CH-136 Kiowa. Doctrinally, the Dhruv is an ‘armed helicopter’, not an attack helicopter.  It took
Over a decade to develop. It has minimal armour and self-protection capability.  It’s hybrid armed utility role is unlike a dedicated AH such as Apache, Cobra, Tigre, Mangusta, Rooivalk, Hind, Hokum, Havok, etc.  As well, you have to wonder about an aircraft when the Ecuadorians cancel an order for them because it is....’accident-prone’.

Regards
G2G

Didn't want that particular helicopter, but it shows what can be done and likely more useful in the support and escort role than a couple of door guns. Canada won't buy a Attack Helicopter, but we might be able to sneak in a "Multi-role helicopter" perhaps based on the Canadian made Bell 429. I was thinking with the trend towards .338 machine guns, they may do very well in the helicopter role allowing more ammunition with similar terminal effects of .50cal. 
 

Good2Golf

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Colin P said:
Didn't want that particular helicopter, but it shows what can be done and likely more useful in the support and escort role than a couple of door guns. Canada won't buy a Attack Helicopter, but we might be able to sneak in a "Multi-role helicopter" perhaps based on the Canadian made Bell 429. I was thinking with the trend towards .338 machine guns, they may do very well in the helicopter role allowing more ammunition with similar terminal effects of .50cal.

Fixed-forward weapons require multiple low-angle staring runs to project sufficient throw-weight.  The time between runs lets the bad guys regroup and reposition to increase their defensibility.  .338 is a good sniping round, but close air support / close combat attack is all about throw-weight.  100 x 7.62 per second is pretty convincing to the bad guys to at least keep their heads down for an extended period. Add 20 x .50/sec and they’re paying attention.  CH-146 CCA in AFG was pretty darned effective, especially when you orbit above The baddies like a mini-AC-130 gun-ship and can put down continuous fire...actually much more effective going through tin roofs of grape huts than LAVs pounding away with 20mm trying to break through 2-3’ of sun-cooked mud walls.

The 429?  It has half the payload of the Griffon and by the time you load it up, it will have lost any speed advantage over the Griffon. It’s time in target for weapons/ammo load out would be less than the Griffon.
 
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