PDRM Getting New Helicopters

SHAH ALAM: THE police took delivery of two AW139 medium helicopters at a ceremony at the Leonardo Helicopters plant at Vergiate, Italy, on May 27. The acceptance of the two helicopters were conducted following a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI).

According to a release by PDRM,

Amongst those present at the ceremony were the IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar; Home Affairs Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Wan Ali Besar and PDRM Air Operations Force commander Datuk S.SathiyaSeelan

.

One of the two AW139 helicopters delivered to the police.
One of the two AW139 helicopters delivered to the police.

Also present were Tengku Mahkota Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah; Galaxy Helicopters Sdn Bhd MD Datuk Johari Harun and senior officials of Leonardo Helicopters.

The Government of Malaysia has approved the acquisition of six AW139 helicopters, to beef up airborne law enforcement roles of the police. The procurement contract for the first two helicopters under the Ninth and Tenth Malaysia Plan, was signed on 9th March 2016, between The Government of Malaysia and Galaxy Helicopters (M) Sdn. Bhd.

Due to the close proximity between the dates of deliveries for the two helicopters and in an effort to prudently manage finances, the Government of Malaysia has approved only one PDI to comprise both the helicopters in Italy.

From the PDRM Facebook page.. Go here

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.

The release from PDRM is puzzling on many parts. If you remember last year I reported on the procurement of the AW139 helicopters here.

The release however stated that the funds to procure the helicopters came from the 9th and 10th Malaysian plans. How they managed to do that is puzzling. Perhaps the funds came from money not utilised during the last 10 years. As for when another four will be acquired and to be paid from which Malaysian plan, your guess is as good as mine.

To add to the confusion, the release also stated that the contract was signed in March this year, when we know for a fact that they signed a contract for two AW139 helicopters at GPEC 15. Of course it could be just a typo error but the fact that the helicopters were ready for delivery within four months showed that contract was signed earlier. I stand to be corrected of course.

MMEA AW139 M72-03. Apart from its duty with APMM, the helicopter is also used for various other duties. Picture taken in late 2013. Malaysian Defence
MMEA AW139 M72-03. Apart from its duty with APMM, the helicopter is also used for various other duties. Picture taken in late 2013. Malaysian Defence

I was told that the two helicopters will be delivered to Malaysia in mid-July, so perhaps we will have more answers then. As the police will be the third government agency to use the AW139 – after the APMM and Bomba – I doubt they will have any issues in operating the helicopters.

Najib (centre) at the FOB ground breaking ceremony.
Najib (centre) at the FOB ground breaking ceremony.

Anyhow since we are talking about helicopters, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak broke ground for the helicopter Forward Operating Base at the Lahad Datu airport on Saturday. The RM9 million helicopter FOB is located on a 0.48-hectare area at the airport. The FOB will consist of an administrative building, hangar and apron capable of accommodating six helicopters.

Sea base Tun Sharifah Rodziah. Joint Force picture
Sea base Tun Sharifah Rodziah. Joint Force picture

The FOB will function as a command and control centre as well as the maintenance hub for helicopters deployed in the ESSZONE area of operations.

RMN auxiliary ship KD Tun Azizan. Joint Force picture
RMN auxiliary ship KD Tun Azizan. Joint Force picture

During his visit to Lahad Datu, Najib also launched the sea base operations of the Tun Sharifah Rodziah platform and the auxiliary ship, KD Tun Azizan. Like the FOB, the two platforms were put in place following the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013.

Najib firing the mini-gun from the PUTD AW109 helicopter. H20 Comms picture
Najib firing the mini-gun from the PUTD AW109 helicopter. H20 Comms picture

Najib also took the opportunity during his visit to Lahad Datu and Tawau to fire a M134D Dillon mini- gun from an Army PUTD AW109 helicopter at the Bakapit firing range. I guess he was very happy about it.
The AW109 fleet were armed with the min-guns also in response to the 2013 incursion.

— Malaysian Defence

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8 Comments

  1. Btw is the helicopters an outright buy or a lease?

    The sea base shoud also get its KD title. Even tldm land facilities gets a KD designation, why not the Tun Sharifah Rodziah?

    Reply
    its an outright buy. No idea, most likely because it is not a RMN asset but the Armed Forces instead. RMN is just the operator.

  2. Maybe the air force should consider the bigger AW149 as nuri replacement? EC-725 is too expensive to be bought as 1:1 replacement for the nuris.

  3. …… – ”why not the Tun Sharifah Rodziah”.

    My guess is because it’s not a commissioned asset; like the CB-90s which don’t have a ‘KD’ prefix.

  4. So why is the Tun Azizan has a KD prefix then??

    Reply
    Because MISC transferred the ownership of Tun Azizan to the RMN for a token RM1, and it was then commissioned into the RMN as an auxiliary ship.

  5. Is there now a directive from the goverment that aw139 shall be the only option for medium lift helicopters for all services?

    Reply
    Not really as Bomba recently bought the AW189, the bigger cousin of the AW139. Its simply because its the right product at the right time. Furthermore, we only operate six AW139, at the moment, Weststar operates 18 helos. That said if PUTD will be getting around a dozen or so AW149, the military version of the AW139 if they had not decided on the Nuri.
    Airbus Helicopters is trying to compete with the H175 but it still new in the tooth.

  6. Regarding this sentence.”The release from PDRM is puzzling on many parts. If you remember last year I reported on the procurement of the AW139 helicopters here.”

    Well, government released official statements over the years are getting more confusing as time goes by.Like the MH370 daily briefing and what is reported on the local press.Totally don’t know what they are talking about by the Transport Minkster, DCA, etc, and depended on foreign press to get some ideas.

    I think the new helos are for VIP transportation during election period, VAT 69 special urban ops and ops for CTU.Mid size transporters for urban ops very unlikely.Not fit for surveillance duties without the gears.

    Reply
    No need for surveillance gear on the AW139s as those will be done by the King Airs

  7. I highly doubt if the helicopters were bought for the elections. Helicopters leased from private companies are normally used for ferrying VIPs during elections. A far more reasonable assumption is that they were bought for roles like surveillance, SAR, light transport, etc.

  8. Or probably this is also a political buy. I thought that Weststar is the main go to company in malaysia for the agusta westland helicopters. Suddenly this buy is with a different company…

    Reply
    The reason is there in those who were present…

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