The Royal Australian Navy has held a ceremony to induct three new Bell 429 helicopters into service as part of the Retention and Motivation Initiative 2 Program.
The June 5 ceremony at HMAS Albatross was officiated by the Commander of the Fleet Air Arm, Commodore Peter Laver, and attended by the Commanding Officer and personnel of 723 Squadron which will operate the aircraft.
The RMI 2 program takes over from the initial RMI contract, and sees Raytheon Australia providing the Bell 429s for an annual tasking of 1500 hours. Raytheon had previously provided AgustaWestland A109Es since 2007 under the original RMI contract.
The RMI helicopters are used by the RAN to provide pilots with an advanced platform as they transition from the AS350BA Squirrel training helicopters to the operational Seahawk and MRH 90 types.
“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,” said Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward.