Bell Helicopter Awarded $640m Contract to Support Canadian Forces

This contract, known as the CH146 Optimized Weapon System Support (OWSS), includes aspects of management services, engineering and technical publications, aircraft maintenance services and spare and consumable parts.


MIRABEL, QUEBEC, CANADA (January 14, 2011) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has been awarded a 10-year, $640M (CAN) support services contract for the Canadian Forces CH146 Griffon fleet.

This contract, known as the CH146 Optimized Weapon System Support (OWSS) contract, includes aspects of management services, engineering and technical publications, aircraft maintenance services and spare and consumable parts. The initial contract will be followed by four one-year options, to be exercised at the Government of Canada's discretion. If exercised, these four one-year options bring the total possible contract value to $935M (CAN).

"For more than 10 years, Bell Helicopter and the Canadian Government have worked tirelessly to provide outstanding rotary wing support to the Canadian Forces," said John L. Garrison, Bell Helicopter president and chief executive officer. "This contract award is testament to the Canadian Forces confidence in Bell Helicopter's ability to add value to their mission."

OWSS combines three existing contracts providing engineering support, repair and overhaul (R&O) support and supply support for the Griffon program. Under the new OWSS contract, Bell Helicopter will assume greater responsibility for managing the CH146 program including:

• Increased airworthiness responsibility

• Responsibility for selected first and second line maintenance activities and

• Increased materiel support management

"Bell Helicopter is committed to working with the Canadian Forces to improve operational availability and reduce support costs of the CH146 Griffon fleet," said Garrison.

"With this contract award, the CH146 fleet enters a new era of support," said Barry Kohler, president Bell Helicopter Canada. "Bell Helicopter will continue to support the men and women of the Canadian Forces with superior products and services both now and well into the future."

The execution of the contract will occur out of Bell Helicopter's Mirabel facility and its Canadian Supply Center in Calgary. Bell Helicopter will work with its extensive Canadian aerospace supply base, including authorized Customer Service Facilities, to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul for the support contract.

"As a result of the OWSS contract, the CH146 program will benefit from Bell Helicopter's industry-leading customer support and service organization and can continue to expect the highest level of support and service," said Kohler. "We look forward to working together to make the CH146 fleet a highly successful one, capable of meeting the most challenging tasks assigned to it in the interest of national security.

In the mid-1990s, the Canadian Forces acquired 100 CH146 Griffons to replace CH135 Twin Huey and CH136 Kiowa as a Utility, Tactical and Transport platform. Since then, Bell Helicopter's Mirabel facility has been providing product and technical support to the Canadian Department of National Defense for its CH-146 Griffon fleet.

The CH146 supports peace-keeping missions and humanitarian relief operations for the Canadian Forces around the globe.

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