Raytheon Australia today participated in an Introduction to Service Ceremony at HMAS Albatross to mark the official entry into service of its new Bell 429 helicopters under the Royal Australian Navy’s Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 (RMI 2) Program.
The ceremony was officiated by the Commander of the Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Peter Laver, and attended by the Commanding Officer and crew of 723 Squadron, the Fleet Air Arm's primary helicopter training unit.
The Managing Director of Raytheon Australia, Mr Michael Ward, paid tribute to the RAN’s commitment to the success of the Retention and Motivation Initiative and the important work carried out by 723 Squadron.
Mr Ward said that RMI was a valuable program in which Raytheon Australia had participated since 2007 and which had allowed junior qualified aircrew to consolidate and enhance their skills prior to flying operational helicopters.
Under a new $26 million four-year contract, Raytheon is providing the Navy with three new Bell 429 helicopters for 1,500 tasking hours per annum. Selected by the company after an extensive trade study and replacing the A109E aircraft provided under the original RMI contract, the Bell 429 is the most modern and cost effective light twin helicopter on the market today.
Raytheon Australia’s RMI solution has been designed for support, providing the most effective capability at the lowest total cost of ownership under a performance-based arrangement.
Mr Ward said “the introduction of the Bell 429 within budget and ahead of an ambitious schedule has only been possible because of the trusted partnership between the RAN and Raytheon Australia and is evidence of the strong commitment to the program’s success by Raytheon and Bell Helicopter.”
The Raytheon Australia Managing Director also recognised the RAN’s collaborative approach which had allowed the company to fully understand the Navy’s requirements and ensured a successful transition to the new capability. He noted that Raytheon Australia also provides ongoing support to the 723 Squadron training helicopters through the AS350BA (Squirrel) In Service Support Contract.
Raytheon Company, with 2011 sales of $25 billion and 71,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, 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. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.