Royal Australian Navy puts Bell 429 into service

Royal Australian Navy puts Bell 429 into service 2 May, 12, Source: Raytheon Australia

Raytheon Australia’s new Bell 429 helicopters have commenced activities with the Royal Australian Navy under the RAN’s Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 (RMI 2) Program.

This milestone was marked by the achievement of the In Service Date for the RMI 2 Program.

Operating since 2007, the Retention and Motivation Initiative (RMI1) provided 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, RMI2, Raytheon Australia is providing the Navy with three new Bell 429 helicopters for 1,500 tasking hours per annum.

The Bell 429 helicopter was chosen by Raytheon Australia after an extensive trade study and replaces the A109E aircraft previously provided by the company under its original RMI contract.  The Bell 429 is the most modern and cost effective light twin helicopter on the market today offering a substantial capability enhancement for rotary wing flying training and light utility support. Built to the latest crashworthiness standards the Bell 429 provides the safest possible environment for Naval aviators to operate and develop their aircrew skills.

The achievement of the In Service Date follows a comprehensive range of activities undertaken by the joint Navy and Raytheon project team. After formal acceptance of the aircraft by Raytheon Australia in February, the Navy conducted an acceptance program at the Raytheon Australia facilities in Nowra to ensure the aircraft were ready to commence service in the RMI 2 Program.

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