Approved Maintenance Organisation

An AW139 MOH conducting a hoisting exercise as part of the Borneo War exercise conducted by RMN Eastern Fleet Command in July 2023. RMN

SHAH ALAM: RMAF Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA) has approved and certified Skuadron 503 and Skuadron 601 as an Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO), the RMN Eastern Fleet Command said today. Both squadrons received the certificate at a ceremony at the Kota Kinabalu air base at the RMN naval base.

The Eastern Fleet Command on its social media post stated

Bukti komited.
Skuadron 503 & @601Uas kini diiktiraf dgn pensijilan Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) oleh Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA). Majlis penyerahan sijil telah berlangsung di Stesen Udara Kota Kinabalu.

Handing over the AMO certificate.RMN

Skuadron 503 is of course the unit which is operating the three AW139 MOH while Skuadron 601 is operating the Boeing ScanEagle UAS donated by the United States.
The AMO certificate handing over ceremony. RMN

According to DGTA, an AMO:

Regulation 4 of Technical Airworthiness Management Manual (TAMM) stipulates that the maintenance of state-registered aircraft and its aeronautical product be performed by an organization that has been certified by the Technical Airworthiness Regulator (TAR) as an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO). In this context, the AMO shall include all service and commercial organizations engaged, or seeking to engage, in the maintenance (service and repair) of Malaysian state-registered aircraft and its aeronautical products.

A group picture after the ceremony. RMN

Based on the above, I believed the AMO certification will allow maintenance work on both the AW139 and ScanEagles to be done at the KK airbase – either by the squadrons themselves or appointed contractors.
Skuadron 601 personnel and their ScanEagles and supporting equipment posed for a photograph at the CO parade on June 17, 2023. Skuadron 601.

It is unknown whether Skuadron 601 is getting outside help to maintain its ScanEagles. If indeed it does, it is likely from Boeing, though I stand to be corrected of course. As for the AW139 most of the work has been awarded to Gading Aerospace Sdn Bhd as reported here.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. I am pleasantly surprised… there are actually 12 Scaneagles in the second photo. I thought only 9 were donated by the US. Are they close to deploying them on board ships yet?

  2. Tom Tom – “I thought only 9”

    Every official statement/press release mentioned 12.

    Tom Tom – “Are they close to deploying them on board ships yet?”

    I do hope so as I’m of the opinion that just like how every ship should and does have a radar; as far as possible every ship should have an organic UAS – something which should be seen was essential rather than a luxury but not to replace anything but to complement existing sensors and if available; helos.

    If however the Scaneagles are operated on ships they will [unlike helos] be integral to the ship; not the asset of a Squadron. My guess is that the Scaneagles will be operated on land; including the reefs in the Spratleys but who knows?

  3. Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) Certification is for the certified unit to be able to undertake its own maintenance with its own manpower.

    You don’t need AMO certification if the maintenance is done by other people/parties, even if it is done in your facilities. But those parties need to be an AMO too to do the maintenance, unless it is the OEM.

  4. Wouldn’t make sense if Skuadron 601 will be parceled out piecemeal whenever a ship goes on station. Neither would it make sense to permanently affix detachments to each ship while still calling the squadron their ‘home’. It is more likely to assume that it will be operating as a whole and also to mitigate accidental losses, to operate them from shore bases.

  5. Talking about UAS, any news on the MALE UAV? The tender was supposed to be out in tandem with MPA. So was it finally decided to go with Anka or something else?

  6. “Wouldn’t make sense if Skuadron 601 will be parceled out piecemeal whenever a ship goes on station”

    Assuming we intend on operating the Scaneagles on ships and they are the asset of a squadron then that’s the only way… Like how a helo is assigned to a ship on an ad hoc basis when there’s an operational need. When the helo is on the ship it’s under the operational command of the ship’s CO but when it leaves the ship it reverts back to its parent command.

    Having assets deployed on an ad hoc basis is not the most ideal of situations but is the only way until or unless there are sufficient numbers.

    “Neither would it make sense to permanently affix detachments to each ship while still calling the squadron their ‘home“

    If a ship has an organic UAS it should be integral to the ship. On shore however there should be a squadron for administrative and training purposes; as well as shore support but the UAS should be integral to the ship.

    Anka will change the way we do things but an effective C3 mechanism has to be in place; i.e. will the RMAF operates Anka be able to share feeds with RMN ships; for that matter if a land based RMN ScanEagle detected something of interest how will it be passed to the nearest RMN ship? Not all RMN ships have the needed mechanism in place.

    Assuming we get follow on MALEs; at some point in the future they should be operated by a Joint UAS Command to minimise bureaucracy; service centric squabbling; reduce redundancy and to maximise efficiency.

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