AW139s for PDRM’s Air Wing

SHAH ALAM: A LOCAL aviation company, Gading Aero Sdn Bhd, is claiming that its sister company, Galaxy Helicopters Sdn Bhd had received a contract from the Home Ministry to supply a number of Agusta Westland AW139 medium size helicopters to the PDRM’s Air Wing.

Both companies are under the Gading Group, which according to its website is located in Hulu Kelang, Selangor. The group also operate a hangar at Subang airport for its aviation-related operations.

I am using “a number” as the entry at the company’s own website stated two different figures. The page featuring Gading Aero claimed Galaxy Helicopters had received a contract to supply six AW139 helicopters to PDRM.

A screen shot of the Gading website which stated that Galaxy Helicopters is to supply 6 AW139 to PDRM.
A screen shot of the Gading website which stated that Galaxy Helicopters is to supply 6 AW139 to PDRM.

However on the Galaxy Helicopters page it was stated that “Malaysian Ministry Of Home Affairs awarded Galaxy Helicopters a contract to supply two Agusta Westland AW 139 helicopters for Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing”.

The screenshot of the Galaxy Helicopters page which stated it has got the contract to two AW139 helicopters to PDRM.
The screenshot of the Galaxy Helicopters page which stated it was awarded the contract to supply two AW139 helicopters to PDRM.

I called the contact number listed on the website and the man who answered said that Galaxy Helicopters indeed received a contract for six AW139 helicopters. However, as I have yet to get an official confirmation on the contract, I will leave it as that.

An image of an AW139 in PDRM colours which was featured in the Gading website.
A CGI image of an AW139 in PDRM colours which was featured in the Gading website.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence however that the contract for the deal was expected to be signed at the upcoming GPECAsia 2015 exhibition to be held at PWTC on Oct 21 to 23.

It must be noted that another company from the Gading Group, Gading Kasturi Sdn Bhd, was awarded the contract to supply six Airbus Helicopters H120 light helicopter and a single simulator for the RMAF flight training school in Alor Setar. The contract was signed at LIMA 2015.

Analysis
If indeed the contract has been awarded to Galaxy Helicopters, it appears that AgustaWestland had manage to score a coup over its main rival Airbus Helicopters. It was generally expected that PDRM will be getting a new batch of light helicopters from Airbus either a new batch of H125 ( the new name for the Ecureil) or the H135.

The Air Wing operates around 8 Ecureil light helicopters from the 11 it received. The first two was delivered in 1990. Since 2008, the police had stated a requirement for some two dozen or so, light and medium size helicopters for its Air Wing. The medium size helicopter is mainly for troop transport and utility role while the light helicopter is for patrol as well as utility duties as well.

The Air Wing’s lack of troop transport capability was exposed during the Lahad Datu incursion.

An Ecureil conducting a demonstration with police comanndos. Internet.
A PDRM Ecureil conducting a demonstration with police commandos. Internet.

As the AW139 is a medium-size twin engine helicopter, the light helicopter requirement remains open and perhaps this will be fulfilled in the future, though this may well be later rather than sooner.

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 Air Wing is not expected to have any difficulties in absorbing the AW139s as a number of these machines are already operating in Malaysia, both in the government (APMM and Bomba) and the private sector. A full mission simulator of the AW139 is also operating at the Airod facility in Subang.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

19 Comments

  1. Well its seems our boys will hav a common platform which will ease maintenance and training i guess. Which is a very good thing to my eyes.

  2. I think the police got its first Ecuriels in the early 1990’s or the late 1980’s. There was a police Ecuriel on static display at the inaugural LIMA. I remember talking to a crew member.

    Reply
    Yes you are right, the first two was delivered in 1990.

  3. Ahhh…my teropong buluh does work after all….Things are in such state of flux that I was beginning to doubt the darn teropong buluh…Lets wait for Bomba announcement next…

    Reply
    Well it will not be a surprise if Bomba buys two AW189, it’s basically a done deal already.

  4. Word has it that a czech twin engine aircraft and french twin turboprop aircraft are also on PDRM UUP radar as well as the lighter berethren of AW139.except for the czech aircraft the other types envisaged are in used by both the military and civillian sectors in malaysia

    Reply
    Yes there is talk about an ATR-size aircraft for troop transport for PDRM, this has re-surfaced following the Lahad Datu incursion. Whether or not funding will be made available is up in the air.

  5. From AS355 to AW139 is big jump.
    Technically AW139 is abit too big for PDRM
    PDRM will be more use for patrol, search suspect, operation cost should be consider.
    H135 or H145 much suitable and saving cost/fuel due to smaller/ligther. also H135 or H145 more country use as police helicopter due to better/bigger front view than AW.
    hopefully Polis AW139 will equipment with FLIR and Police mission console.
    anyway bigger helicopter can carry more police/special force if mission needed. and for Disaster rescue mission.
    hopefully Gov able to provide more budget for operation AW139.

  6. As far as I’m concerned the one
    non-military organisation that should get new helos is the MMEA. Yes the police have a requirement for helis but priority should be the MMEA.

    After declaring that they didn’t need help and that they could manage on their own; the Indonesians have asked for help and a MMEA Bombardier has been assigned. In 1997 we transported 1,500 firemen to Sumatera to help. Apparently, the Indonesians boarded the RMN ships to make sure the passengers were bono fide firemen.

    Reply
    Actually I was supposed to follow the firemen on board the KD Sri Jarom (if remember correctly) for the 1997 mission. We already got permission from the Navy but we were denied boarding by MKN officers. In the end we drove down to Malacca during the night and took a ferry out to Dumai, arriving earlier than the navy ship! The firemen said walking would be faster than the navy ship. I spend a month shuttling between Pekan Baru and Jambi (which was almost eight hours by road at that time) to cover the firefighting operations. Jambi was the worst affected haze. I remember taking a boat to the AOR of the firemen, almost two hours by boat from Jambi. The haze was so bad we could not even see past the bow of the six foot boat during the trip and back.

  7. Transport plane? WHY?????

    Reply
    Apparently they did not want to rely on others to fly their troops especially UTK and VAT 69. Apart from personnel, for transport of firearms and ammunition especially to Sabah and Sarawak. Special charter is needed for those currently.

  8. Stupid. Just have a special arrangement with Firefly or something. Make the pilots into Polis Bantuan and kowtim. Moving firearms and Class 1 Explosives is nothing la. Haiyo…in buang duit tahu.

    Reply
    The current practice is to appoint MTO…

  9. Marhalim,

    Don’t know how true this but I heard that a couple of journalists, who were cleared to cover MALBATT in Bosnia, had their clearance revoked at the very last minute as they had visited Israeli occupied Jerusalem as part of TV3’s “Jejak Rasul” series.

    Reply
    The Dumai immigration officer did asked my photographer whether he had a journalist visa when we disembarked from the ferry ( his passport says his occupation was a wartawan) But in the end he lets go unhindered.
    I am not aware of that story so I am not sure whether its true or not. Most journalists I know who had enter Israeli previously usually asked the immigration officer not to stamp their passports and they will usually do that. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to do that. By the time I visited Beijing in 2000, the Bamboo curtain restriction had already been blacked out on my passport so no problem there…

  10. Up to the mid-1990’s it was standard practice for Malaysians returning from China to be debriefed by SB upon arrival at Subang. They were asked whether anyone approached them with strange requests and whether they were given commie literature. Fast forward 20 years and the Chinese embassy here is one of the top issuers of visas to China.

    The main land route into Israel is via the Allonby Bridge from Jordan. It’s common for even Western journalists to request their passports not be stamped as it can complicate and delays matters when applying for visas to certain Arab counties. The TV3 journalists however, had permission from here to cross as they were shooting the “Jejak Rasul” series.

  11. Class 1 like ammo can go commercial. MAS handles this. They are one of the Asian carriers that do. Otherwise you use FEDEX or UPS. On a special charter, you just stick it in the cargo in approved storage.

  12. Do anyone knows whatever happens to RMP Air Unit sole Bell Jet Ranger?

    Reply
    It was written off after a crash, which year I cannot remember off hand.

  13. Marhalim,
    139s are already done deal, in fact is coming end of the year.

    “The Air Wing is not expected to have any difficulties in absorbing the AW139s”
    Either you forgot your /s or they will need a lot of your blessing.

    Squirrels are unlikely as they cannot comply to CAT A. They will get 135s next year with a very interesting finance method.

    Azlan,
    MMEA will have their turn next year under some very interesting finance method.
    Another agency which are/will be on the news are getting some 135s too under the same scheme.

    “asked for help”
    No they did not, we, M’sia and SG insist to help.

    SavvyKL,
    PDRM has no business in rescue, in fact they are making up requirement to get shinny toys. Before you argue about multirole, rescue is not a part time job.
    BTW they already have FLIR, search lights, NVGs, Loudhailer… minus that fancy console.

  14. Btw would the uup twin squirrels be retired after getting the aw139 or will it continue in service alongside the new helicopters?

    In total the uup received 11 twin squirrels. 2 of the F1 variant, 9 of the N variant (the difference between the two is their engines). To date 3 of the N variant has crashed.

    If they are going to be retired, it would be good if some would be passed on to tldm, to relieve some of the burden of the fennec fleet. Then tldm would have extra airframes to deploy on esscom floating bases, the 2 auxiliary ships and some for training. The twin squirrels and the fennec have only minor differences, mainly in radio, missile warning systen and search radars.

    Reply
    Its unlikely the Air Wing will retire the Squirrels. These helicopters may end in Sabah though as they received new machines.

  15. H – ”No they did not, we, M’sia and SG insist to help.”

    We did and after declining our offer or instance to help the Indonesian government ”asked” or ”requested” help.

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