Photo: Celebrating the delivery: (From left to right): Bart Konings, Senior Director, U.S. Navy Programs, IMP Aerospace; Bob Kelly, H-3 Sea King Deputy Program Manager; Cmdr. Brad Renner, U.S. Navy, Group Chief, Aircraft Operations, Defense Contract Management Agency; Lt. Tim Bagley, the Lead Pilot for the flight, is a SAR pilot assigned to the NAS Patuxent River Air Operations Department.
The last U.S. Navy Sea King helicopter to be delivered was received by a Naval Air Systems Command team lead by Bob Kelly, H-3 Sea King Deputy Program Manager, on Wednesday, November 2, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The helicopter, a search and rescue variant, will be based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
Im honored to be here on behalf of NAVAIR and the Sea King program, Kelly said. IMP Aerospace did an outstanding job in refurbishing not only this Sea King but also the other 24 Sea Kings refurbished under this contract. The helicopter delivered today is virtually brand new, which is quite a challenge considering how long its been in service. When it comes to top quality craftsmanship, the artisans at IMP Aerospace have made a name for yourselves as the experts when it comes to the Sea King, and the U.S. Navy recognizes that, Kelly said.
The newly delivered Sea King is the last of four Sea Kings assigned to Patuxent River. All four of the helicopters went through the same extensive maintenance and upgrade program at IMP Aerospace in Halifax. After refurbishment, the Sea Kings can be flown for an additional 2,000 flight hours or approximately six more years of use.
This is the last of the U.S. Navy Sea Kings and we are very proud to be a part of the team that delivered 25 of these aircraft. We hope this Sea King flies well and that the Navy has much success with it, said Bart Konings, Senior Director, U.S. Navy Programs, IMP Aerospace. This is a milestone in the program that we have with the U.S. Navy. Besides delivering these 25 aircraft, the opportunity exists to work on more Sea Kings from other U.S. Navy foreign customers.
The four Patuxent River Sea Kings will provide search and rescue (SAR) support to a number of flight test programs including the Joint Strike Fighter, the V-22, and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet as well as providing search and rescue support for the local community.
The Fleet comments that weve received after each U.S. Navy Sea King delivery have always indicated they have been very impressed with IMPs work, said Todd Caldwell, H-3 Sea King Assistant Program Manager for Logistics. The U.S. Navy Team and IMP Aerospace have truly worked as one team to deliver a top quality product to the Fleet, and for that the U.S. Navy is very grateful. In addition, wed like to thank everyone at IMP Aerospace for the outstanding support that you have provided on a number of occasions to support the Fleet, in many cases, on very short notice, Caldwell said.
In November 1999, IMP Aerospace was awarded a major contract by the U.S. Navy for Standard Depot Level Maintenance (SDLM) of its H-3 Sea King fleet. This multi-year contract called for the overhaul, repair, engineering and flight line support services for the Navy's fleet of 60 H-3 helicopters as well as similar services for other Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Sea King customers.
The Sikorsky H-3 Sea King helicopter has been in service with different military services and civilian operators around the world for more than 40 years. U.S. Navy Sea Kings are slowly being retired and replaced by the H-60 Sea Hawk helicopter. The U.S. Navy is scheduled to fly the Sea King up to and beyond fiscal year 2010.