Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, delivered two Bell 429s to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and a third Bell 429 is scheduled for delivery next year. The three aircraft will be used for a range of missions including search and rescue, medical evacuations, natural disaster relief, national security and military training.
The Bell 429 meets current airworthiness requirements to enhance occupant safety and is adaptable for evolving mission requirements. It features single pilot Instrument flight rules (IFR), Category A operations and an integrated avionics glass cockpit. The metallic and composite construction creates a balance between rigidity and flexibility and safety and durability.
“Over the years, our mission has evolved resulting in the need to acquire the Bell 429 to more effectively meet the demands of our mission profiles and further prove our rotary wing capability,” said Col. Roderick Williams, JDF’s Colonel Adjutant Quartermaster and former Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing.
The JDF began its helicopter operations in 1963 with two Bell 47Gs. Its active fleet includes four Bell 407s, two Bell 412s and two Bell 206s.