LANGKAWI: The Malaysian Army today received two Nuri helicopters from the RMAF marking the start of its Air Wing transition into the troop transport and utility role.
The two Nuri -in the very controversial digital camo- spotted the serial numbers M23-01 and M23-31. According to Army Chief Jen Tan Seri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor, the camouflage will be changed into the service digital one within two phases.
It must be said though while the camo chosen is debatable the paint job itself is superb. I was told that the paint job was the handiwork of a master painter attached with Airod.
Both helicopters and two other examples are being used to train a cadre of PUTD pilots on the Nuri.
The Army will eventually operate 12 Nuris while RMAF 15. The Army Nuris are those aircraft which had been “cocooned” previously as the RMAF sought to consolidate its rotary wing fleet.
The Nuris will be upgraded with digital cockpits although the programme remained on hold pending a decision by the RMAF. Currently only one Nuri had been fitted with the digital cockpit. The aircraft is currently being operated by RMAF, M23-36.
It is understood that the transfer to the Army was brought forward due to urgent operational requirements.
After signing the transfer document, Raja Mohamed Affandi handed a RM20 note to RMAF chief Jen Datuk Seri Roslan Saad. It is traditional to give a small cash token (not signifying the cost) after receiving a weapon. It is said to ensure that the weapon does not turn on the owner (tak makan tuan).
I was informed that officers who received their ceremonial swords from the King also followed the tradition (usually coins).
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