SHAH ALAM: Another AW139 for Op Benteng. Back in July last year, the Defence Ministry issued a tender to lease two helicopters for the RMN as part of Op Benteng operations. I did a story on that tender but it appears that the tender was subsequently cancelled.
Now it appears that at least one aircraft is likely to be operated by the National Task Force (NTF) the body set up to coordinate the various agencies involved in Op Benteng.
The NTF operated helicopter, an AW139, appeared in a banner (main picture) at the Defence Ministry booth at the Keluarga Malaysia exhibition held in conjunction with the 100 day celebration of the current government. The banner said AW139 GOCOM, which may mean Government Owned, Company Operated and Managed.
It must be noted that there is a single government owned AW139 -serial number 9M-JPM – which arrived here a few months back. It is bought for the Prime Minister’s Department hence the serial number JPM – Jabatan Perdana Menteri. I managed to track its movement on an aircraft tracking application likely in September though I have not seen the aircraft on it anymore. It is very that 9M-JPM is the helicopter to be used by the NTF.
It is also likely that 9M-JPM would be flown by Galaxy Aerospace flight crews which will also provide the maintenance at its facility in Subang hence the GOCOM designation. NTF personnel will be onboard to conduct the surveillance operations. This is a slight variation to the canceled helicopter leasing programme which was supposed to be company owned, company operate and managed, with the surveillance personnel coming from the navy.
Meanwhile in Parliament, yesterday, Deputy Defence Minister DS Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz stated that the MD-530G helicopters will be delivered in the first quarter of next year. The helicopters are likely to be delivered later than the RMN Maritime Utility Helicopters as suggested previously.
HT to DM.
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