Mark Collins – Bell Rung: All 15 Canadian Coast Guard Light Helos Delivered

Further to this May 2014 post,

Bell Rings Loud for New CCG Light Chopper–How Convenient

the project has been done in, by Canadian standards miraculously short time and, even though the contract was effectively sole-sourced to a Canadian plant (in Quebec), there was perishingly little media or political controversy over the deal.  One concludes people are obsessed with Canadian Forces’ procurements whilst the CCG gets generally overlooked (very few people comparatively know anything about it)–though its shipbuilding problems are getting noticed, probably because they’re part of an overall shipbuilding “strategy” with the Navy.

The government’s whirlybird  news release:

Delivery of 15 new light-lift helicopters for Canadian Coast Guard is on budget and ahead of schedule

DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA –The Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, and Jody Thomas, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, accepted today the last new light-lift helicopter into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. 


After being awarded a contract in May 2014, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd, based in Mirabel, Quebec, completed the delivery of fifteen light-lift helicopters to the Canadian Coast Guard in less than two years. This impressive milestone was achieved ahead of schedule and on budget…

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada has also awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter for seven medium‑lift helicopters, with delivery starting in 2017 [see link at end of this post].
  • The overwhelming majority of flying hours logged by Coast Guard helicopters (65% of the total) is devoted to ensuring the safety of marine traffic, followed by icebreaking operations (15%) and its other responsibilities to other Coast Guard programs and other government departments (20%).
  • Economic benefits of this procurement are being leveraged through the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy. The policy ensures that companies that win Government of Canada defence and security contracts conduct high quality and advanced technology business activities in Canada, equal to contract value…

Those bigger choppers:

Canadian Coast Guard’s New Medium-Lift Helos Sole-Sourced to Bell Helicopter Canada

2021 UPDATE: More on the CCG’s Bell 429 light choppers here and the Coast Guard’s helicopter webpage is here.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

3 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Bell Rung: All 15 Canadian Coast Guard Light Helos Delivered”

  1. Brings back memories of Chrétien ordering up the Griffons with the stroke of a pen, helicopters that were not even requested at the time. The RCAF was to to STFU, find a use for them and praise the government for supplying world class equipment. Which of course they did. Careers are careers after all.

    And the money & jobs rolled into Quebec.
    And the media went radio silent, peepless.

    Can you imagine the howls of outrage if Harper had been the one to do that?

    Politics & the military . . . Strange bedfellows.


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