Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan said the last S 70B-2 Seahawk ‘Bravo’ naval combat helicopter made its final flight today before being gifted to the Australian War Memorial (AWM).
The Seahawk’s final flight went over the Australian Defence Force Academy, Defence’s Russell Offices, Parliament House and the AWM before landing in Exhibition Park in Canberra.
Mr Tehan said the Seahawk had served in operations across the globe and had contributed to the safety and security of our nation.
“The Bravo served with distinction in Operation Damask during the first Gulf War, Operations Relex and Resolute for border protection duties and most recently Operations Slipper and Manitou in the Middle East,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Bravo design has served our country for almost three decades in the demanding maritime environment, which is a testament to the quality of the helicopter and those who have maintained it and flown it.
“The Seahawk ‘Bravo’ has been replaced by the latest version of the Seahawk known as the MH-60R ‘Romeo’. Navy has now received 24 Romeos to replace the 16 Bravos.
“We are taking a quantum leap in technology as we upgrade to the latest Seahawks, but we will always remember the Bravos fondly as the aircraft that brought us into the 21st Century.”
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett said the Seahawk had been a dependable aircraft since its introduction into service in 1988, and would always be respected by the Fleet Air Arm.
“The Bravo is one of the most reliable and capable maritime aircraft,” Vice Admiral
“Many of our pilots, air crews and maintainers have worked on this platform ensuring it provided 29 years of exceptional service to Navy. From the very beginning, these aircraft were operationally deployed and proved their value time and time again.”
In addition to the physical preservation of the aircraft, curators at the Australian War Memorial are undertaking an oral history project to record the stories and experiences of those who flew the Bravo.