Robinson Helicopter has been awarded a contract to supply its R44 Raven II light utility helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF).
Under the terms of contract, whose value remains undisclosed, the company will supply a total of eight R44 Raven IIs to support primary helicopter training at the King Hussein Air College in Mafraq, Jordan.
The helicopters are scheduled to replace RJAF’s fleet of Hughes 500 Defender multi-role military helicopters that have been in service since 1981.
Royal Jordanian Air Force colonel Imad Ghwein said the R44 Raven II’s selection was based on the positive feedback received from a neighbouring country’s air force that also operates the same helicopter.
According to the company, the decision to use the R44 follows the visit of a four-member delegation led by RJAF brigadier general Walid Jaradat in March.
Ghwein said the delegation was the impressed by the low maintenance and operating costs of the helicopter.
Deliveries under the contract will take place in two batches, with the first comprising four R44s is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2014.
The second batch featuring the remaining four choppers is anticipated to be handed over in the first quarter of 2015.
Robinson has already conducted a safety course for ten RJAF pilots, while 12 RJAF mechanics are set to attend the company’s maintenance course later this month.
The R44 Raven II is powered by a Lycoming IO-540 fuel-injected engine, and features a standard 28-volt electrical system that ensures good starting performance in hot or cold weather, while providing additional electrical power for optional equipment.
RJAF currently operates a fleet of 12 MD500D/E helicopters for training missions.
Image: The Royal Jordanian Air Force has ordered eight R44 Raven II choppers from Robinson Helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Richard Yeowart.