Canadian Forces Afghanistan – CH-146 Griffon – 21 December 2008
CH-146 Griffons Heading to Kandahar – DND/CF News Release
The Department of National Defence has issued a brief statement announcing that the first two (at least)
CF CH-146 Griffon utility helicopters meant for Afghanistan will soon be on the way to
Kandahar. Griffons, from 438 THS ( Tactical Helicopter Squadron) St-Hubert, Quebec began arriving
at Montréal-Mirabel Airport on 13 Dec 2008. Upon arrival, Air Force Aviation Systems Technicians
began stripping main rotor blades.
Removing the Griffon's four main rotor blades is standard procedure for transporting these
utility helicopters by air – even aboard transports as large as the CF's CC-177
Globemaster III. The two 'featherless' Griffons looked a little lost inside the cargo hold of
the CC-177. Despite the speculation about how these helicopters might be adapted for their mission, the Griffons at
Mirabel looked quite standard. They were fitted with the usual counter- measure sensors and the WR Davis exhaust
suppressors are obvious in some photos.
Little was revealed in the press release. It remains to be seen exactly how the Griffons will be used in
Afghanistan and how well they perform alongside CH-147D Chinooks and leased Mil Mi-8T transport helicopters.
Text of the DND News Release is
16 December 2008, Mirabel Airport, Quebec, Canada
Griffon Helicopters from 438 Tactical Helicopter Squad- ron located at St-Hubert
( Quebec ), are loaded into a CC-177 Globemaster [ III transport ] aircraft at
Mirabel Airport, where they will be shipped to Afghanistan. The CH-146 Griffon is a Utility Transport Tactical
Helicopter (UTTH) used primarily for search and rescue missions, tactical transport,
and humanitarian relief operations. The CH-146 Griffon features GPS satellite
navigation and Doppler radar systems. [A Griffon can also be] equipped with a hoist [winch] that enables it to
extract people and cargo from almost any terrain.
The CH-146 Griffon will provide Tactical support for OPERATION ATHENA which is Canada's
participation in the International Security Assistance Force... in Afghanistan.
Photo[s]: Sergeant Paz Quillé, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.