Airbus and BHIC To Explore Military Aircraft MRO

SHAH ALAM: Airbus and Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation (BHIC) have signed an MOU to explore the joint development of military aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities in Malaysia. It is likely both companies will set up a joint venture company for the MRO of the Airbus A400M airlifter, four of which are in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Airbus is currently conducting the MRO for the A400Ms with the No 8 Squadron, the new designation of the unit. Both companies are also involved in the military helicopter MRO and pilot training in country.

A400M M54-04 landing at Labuan airport on Nov. 17, 2017.

The release from Airbus:

Under this MoU, the two partners will collaboratively look into how to leverage their respective expertise to advance local MRO capabilities for military fixed wing aircraft platforms, in support of the operators’ fleet.

Johan Pelissier, Head of Asia Pacific at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Airbus has enjoyed a very successful partnership with BHIC on military helicopter MRO and pilot training. We are excited to now strengthen this strong alliance as we study the possibility of expanding our local industrial presence to cover both rotary wing and military fixed wing MRO solutions, bringing better convenience to our customers. We are also looking forward to contributing to the country’s Capability Development 2055 transformation plan as it introduces a new military fixed wing platform for maritime patrol missions in the coming years.”

“Malaysia is Airbus’ largest supplier base in South East Asia and is a key market for us. Today’s MoU signature is a clear demonstration of Airbus’ full commitment to contribute to the country’s development of a self-sustaining aerospace value chain,” added Pelissier.

Sharifuddin Md Zaini Al-Manaf, Chief Executive Officer of BHIC, said: “We have identified the aerospace sector as one of the key growth segments to steer the company forward. BHIC is casting our net wider in this sector to enlarge our market base by capitalising on our existing facilities and MRO expertise.”

Airbus and BHIC have been long time partners supporting the growing Malaysian aerospace industry. Their helicopter MRO joint venture BHIC Aerospace Services provides maintenance services for military helicopter operators, while their Subang-based Airbus Helicopters Malaysia Simulation Centre joint venture houses the region’s only training simulators for the H225 and H225M helicopters, as well as a second simulator for the AS365 Dauphin training.

RMAF Airbus Helicopter H225M Cougar delivering SF soldiers during an exercise on the South China Sea in 2014. Joint Force picture.

Despite the positive note of the release it has not been plain sailing for the helicopter MRO company undertaken by Airbus and BHIC – BHIC AeroServices Sdn Bhd (BHICAS). The company has been issued by RMAF with additional cost incurred for items under Consumables By The Hour (CBH), coupled with provision for Liquidated Damages of RM27.3 million for its EC725 MRO contract in 2020 as revealed by the company’s annual report to Bursa Malaysia. However, the charges have been offset by the higher flying hours by the RMAF and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the report added.

— Malaysian Defence

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