Royal Australian Navy starts acceptance of first Bell 429

Royal Australian Navy starts acceptance of first Bell 429

6-Feb-2012 Source: Raytheon Australia

Raytheon Australia has announced the beginning of acceptance activities of its first Bell 429 helicopters to be utilised under the Royal Australian Navy’s Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 (RMI 2) Program.

The Retention and Motivation Initiative provides the Navy with supported aircraft to allow junior qualified aircrew to consolidate and enhance their skills prior to flying operational helicopters. Under a new $26 million four-year contract signed in September last year, Raytheon Australia will provide the Navy with three new Bell 429 helicopters for 1,500 tasking hours per annum.

Announcing the commencement of acceptance activities for the new Bell helicopters, Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Mr Michael Ward, said that Raytheon executives would travel to the United States in the forthcoming days for the formal acceptance of the first aircraft by the company. This aircraft would then be flown to Australia in the subsequent weeks.

According to Mr Ward “Raytheon Australia has been impressed with Bell Helicopter’s responsiveness to our RMI requirements and the announcement of these latest activities will ensure an on-schedule commencement of the RMI 2 Program in late April this year”.

The latest development follows previous inspections where, in October, a project team from the Royal Australian Navy and Raytheon Australia conducted a series of inspections to ensure that the three helicopters were being built to conform to the contracted specifications.

The new Bell 429 helicopter was chosen by Raytheon Australia after an extensive trade study and will replace the current three A109E aircraft provided by the company under its original RMI contract.

Mr Ward said “in addition to our productive relationship with Bell Helicopter, Raytheon Australia is proud of our trusted partnership with the RAN on RMI and we look forward to delivering upon our commitments to the Navy on the RMI 2 program”.

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