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Australia Picks Agusta A109 as Interim Naval Helo

Junior Aircrew from the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm will soon be flying three Agusta Westland A109E Multi-Engine helicopters that will be operated from the Naval Air Station at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW.

Following an in-depth tender and negotiation process, Mr Michael Ward (Raytheon Australia) and CDRE Peter Jones (Commander Australian Naval Systems Command) signed a four-year $24 million contract at the Fleet Air Arm Museum on 8 December 2006 to deliver a ‘Turn Key’ style operation beginning in March 2007.

The aircraft have been sourced from overseas. Two were acquired via Agusta Westland Italy, which were previously operated by the Swedish Airforce, and the third from a civil operator in France. All three aircraft will be modified and repainted in military colours prior to acceptance by the Navy.

The A109E Power is a single-pilot, all-weather helicopter fitted with modern avionics and a full utility fit for general rescue operations. It will be capable of conducting both day and night operations in multi-role tasks.

The Navy’s “Power Flight” will provide junior qualified aircrew, graduating from the AS350 Squirrel, with consolidation flying and skill enhancement opportunities prior to transition to operation conversion on the Seahawk, Seasprite and Sea King helicopters.

Four–Year Contract Announced for Navy's Skill Retention Helicopters