Raytheon Australia today announced that its new Bell 429 helicopters had 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. Announcing that In Service Date had been achieved, Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director, Mr Michael Ward paid tribute to the considerable efforts that had brought this outcome about. “It is a credit to the trusted partnership between the Royal Australian Navy, Raytheon Australia and Bell Helicopter that this key milestone has been achieved within budget and several weeks ahead of schedule,” Mr Ward said.
Operating since 2007, 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 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.
In heralding the commencement of RMI 2 Mr Ward stressed that the Bell 429 RMI solution has been designed for support, providing the most effective capability at the lowest total cost of ownership under a performance based arrangement.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defence, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 90 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 71,000 people worldwide.
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