SHAH ALAM: RMAF is finally adding weapons capability to its fleet of Airbus EC 725AP (H225M) helicopters. The Defence Ministry on January 13 2022 issued a bid for tender for the purchase of 7.62mm machine guns for the EC 725 helicopters based at the Kuantan (No 10 Skuadron) and Labuan (No 5 Skuadron) airbases.
The tender notice:
PEROLEHAN PERSENJATAAN EC 725 DI PANGKALAN UDARA
KUANTAN DAN PANGKALAN UDARA LABUAN
The public portion of the requirements stated that five units are being sought though I admit I am not sure whether this means one gun and mounting system or two guns per mounting system though it most likely meant the former – one gun per mounting system.
It is interesting to note that the ministry saw fit to seek bids for the purchase as Airbus has only certified the FN 7.62mm MAG with the light pintle system for use on the EC725/H225M or the FN M3M like those used on the Super Lynx, AW139 and NH90 helicopters. Buying direct from the FN Herstal would probably allow us to buy an extra gun with its mounting system.
From FN Herstal:
The FN® Light Pintle System is ideal for light aircraft and provides effective suppressive fire against light ground targets. It features a 7.62mm FN MAG® machine gun and can be window, door, ramp or externally mounted. When installed on the FN® LDP Turning, the FN® Light Pintle System, can be quickly retracted when not in use.
It must be noted that previously, Defence Minister DS Hishammudin Hussein had sought to arm the EC725s with guns following the Lahad Datu incursion (see above). They were supposed to be armed with the 7.62mm miniguns but in the end it was never done as the EC725s were never certified for the type.
Nuri helicopters that were based in Labuan or Kuching were instead armed with 12.7mm machine guns. The armed Nuri were retired in 2019 when RMAF decided to end the service of the whole fleet.
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