Bomba Getting Two AW189 Helicopters

SHAH ALAM: At last year’s LIMA 2015, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director general told the media that the department had been approved for the procurement of two “heavy weight helicopters” under the 11th Malaysian Plan. The aircraft he was referring to, are known in the industry as super medium helicopters.

For that story please go here. On Tuesday, at the Singapore Airshow 2016, it was confirmed that Bomba is getting two AW189 super medium helicopters.

AW189 in Bomba colours. Finmeccanica.
AW189 in Bomba colours. Finmeccanica.

Based on the release by Finmeccanica Helicopter Division, which stated that the helicopters was ordered by TPG Aeronautik Sdn Bhd for the department, it is likely that the helicopters will be leased by Bomba.

One of Bomba Mi-17s conducting a rescue exercise with ground troops.
One of Bomba Mi-17s conducting a rescue exercise with ground troops.

Bomba currently operates seven helicopters – a single AW109 (one crashed); two AW139s and four Mi-17s. All were procured by the department, apart from two of the Mi-17s which were originally bought by the police.

Bomba AW139 9M-BOD carrying supplies to an Orang Asli village during the massive floods in late 2014. Bomba picture.
Bomba AW139 9M-BOD carrying supplies to an Orang Asli village during the massive floods in late 2014. Bomba picture.

If indeed that it is leasing the helicopters, Bomba is following in the footsteps of the PDRM and RMAF in acquiring a capability using the Operational Expenditure instead of buying it using the Development Expenditure.

PDRM recently announced a leasing contract for two AW139 for its air wing while RMAF signed for five H120 helicopters for basic flight training at LIMA 2015, also under a lease. For those stories go here and here.

One of Weststar AW189 displayed at LIMA 2015.
One of Weststar AW189 displayed at LIMA 2015.

The newly created disaster management agency or Agensi Pengurusan Bencana Negara was also supposed to lease at least five helicopters at the end of last year from Weststar Aviation. However as the signing ceremony was called off at the last minute, the status of the deal remained unclear.

A Finmeccanica offcial with presenting a model of the AW189 to a TPG Aeronautik official. Finmeccanica.
A Finmeccanica offcial with presenting a model of the AW189 to a TPG Aeronautik official. Finmeccanica.

There is no background information on TPG Aeronautik in the release , nor at its website. However, further checks showed that TPG Aeronautik is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of AVP Engineering Sdn Bhd, which had won contracts to supply fire engines and other equipment to Bomba. AVP Engineering is a subsidiary of CB Industrial Product Holding Berhad (CBIP), a company listed on the Bursa Malaysia main board.
The release from Finmeccanica:

“Finmeccanica, Italy’s leading high-technology group, has announced today at the Singapore Airshow 2016 an order by TPG Aeronautik Sdn Bhd of Malaysia for two AW189 super medium helicopters, consolidating the success of the type in South East Asia. The helicopters, whose delivery is planned in 2017, will be operated by the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia) for firefighting, search and rescue and disaster relief missions.

JBPM selection of the AW189 will expand their capabilities and will, as an existing operator of two AW139s, enable them to take advantage of the shared benefits in training, operations and support provided by the Family of AgustaWestland products, which include the AW169, AW139 and AW189 types.

Finmeccanica’s Helicopter Division continues to grow in Malaysia with the delivery to Galaxy Aviation of two AW139, joining the already impressive fleet of the types operating in the Country, and in the Philippines, with two helicopters to be operated for corporate/executive transport. South East Asia continues to be one of the fastest growing market for Finmeccanica and its Helicopter Division, with additional interest coming in both the government and commercial sectors.

AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica, continues to play a major role in the Malaysian helicopter market expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through a continued programme of investment. AgustaWestland Malaysia is a Malaysian DCA approved maintenance and repair organisation.

— Malaysian Defence

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