SHAH ALAM: Tim Nukleus Rejimen 882 is expected to take delivery of the two leased Black Hawk helicopters by year end, Malaysian Defence can reveal. The contract for the helicopters is expected to be signed anytime soon or at LIMA 23, at the end of this month.
The delivery date is dictated by the six-month period – after the contract is signed – for the training of pilots and technicians to operate the helicopters. So, if the contract signing is delayed – for whatever reason – the delivery date will also move forward likely into the new year.
The other two Black Hawks are expected to be delivered by end of 2024. Again, the timeline might change if there is a delay in signing the contract. As, reported previously, Rejimen 882 is now operating out of the Batu 10 Camp in Gambang, Kuantan. It is unclear though whether they will be operated out of the adjacent RMAF Kuantan airbase.
PUTD operates three AW109 helicopters out of its base adjacent to the 22 RAMD camp in Sandakan, a few kilometres away from the Sandakan airport. The tender for the leasing of the helicopters was published in July, 2022. Six bidders competed for the lease.
This March, the-then Army chief announced that the Black Hawks won the leasing tender. He said PUTD had chosen the Black Hawks as it had matched its requirements compared to the other competitors.
It must be noted that the helicopters leased are the UH-60A or 60A plus variants which have been sold to US private companies. According to one report, a UH-60A – sold by US companies and ex-US Army aircraft – is priced at US$6 million per aircraft or RM26 million at the current exchange rate. For more on the Black Hawk variants go here.
Malaysian Defence was told that the Black Hawks will be armed with mini-guns as used by most other users of the helicopters.
— Malaysian Defence