Black Hawks For The Army, Part 2

RBAF S-70i Blackhawk, USAF

SHAH ALAM: Black Hawks for the Army, Part 2. In an earlier article with the same title, Malaysian Defence wrote that one company was offering Black Hawk helicopters – likely used ones – for lease to the Army’s Air Wing (PUTD).

It appears that the company – a subsidiary of a public listed company – is not the only one to offer the Black Hawks for the tender. Another bidder – also a subsidiary of a public listed company – is offering brand new Black Hawks for the leasing tender, I was told. Whether this wise or not is beyond my pay grade.

One of RMAF leased AW139 flying at Butterworth airbase on February 10. Mindef

The two are the six bidders for the leasing tender which was published on July 5 and closed on August 11. The tender is for the leasing of four helicopters under performance-based contract for a period of three to five years. The Army is leasing the helicopters following the retirement of the Nuri in 2019.
A PUTD Nuri hauling an Oto Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer at the Firepower Exercise 2017. The helicopter like the Nuris of RMAF were retired in mid 2019.

From an earlier post:

A check with the Eperolehan website today showed that six companies had filed their bids for the tender. The lowest bid was listed at RM187 million while the highest was RM405 million. What is interesting that one of the companies had a bid of RM264.7 million for the contract. It is interesting as this was the same figure of the contract for the leasing of four AW139 for the RMAF. One must wonder whether this bid was from Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd, the company that won the RMAF contract which is also a leasing deal. It is likely.

A RMAF EC725 helicopter carrying a single 105mm pack howitzer at the Army’s 89th anniversary celebration on March 1, 2022. BTDM

Checks with industry sources showed there is no firm timeline for when the contract will be awarded. It is likely that with a new team in power at Jalan Padang Tembak, any decision will take place in the new year.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. More importantly, which of the crony is PH friendly or has now changed sides.

    Since this is leasing only which chopper would not matter much unlike outright buys tho I’m partial towards the Blackhawk bids as it will give PUTD a taste of its full capabilities and might whet their appetite for it when comes time to buy. Or at least they can start of with the used RBAF examples.

  2. Far – “Is not PH government sir, is Kerajaan Perpaduan, let see how it goes”

    If one wants to be pedantic then it’s not a “Unity government” as there is still an opposition. True “Unity governments” don’t have an opposition. As for “seeing how goes” there will be a lot of cosmetics, window dressing and spring cleaning but overall policy Will remain unchanged…

  3. A “unity government” of what actually? It doesn’t represent the majority segment nor the majority votes. In other nations, it is termed a minority government.

    As for the white paper, yeah let that joke continue. An expensive joke that is not worth the paper it is printed on.

  4. The unity government has a popular vote of more than 60%. On a standalone basis, PH was the largest in terms of popular vote and seats won. But on a standalone basis it is a minority, same as any other standalone coalition including Pn. Once again, it’s ok to say things. But if it involves fact at least be certain and do homework. Like how is QE class a prototype when it was specifically commissioned to meet the requirements of the RN to replace the Invincible class? It’s like saying the Gerald R Ford class is a prototype or the Fujian class is a prototype when both were specifically commissioned by their respective navies. Again, PH had it’s problems. So did BN and PN. The choice is either reform the system but suffer for some time before it gets better, or continue along the wasteful way of doing things and accept the armed forces dwindling purchasing power as markup costs increase.

  5. Yes. The minute something is fit for service or for serial production it means it has passed the developmental stage; no longer a “prototype”.

  6. And since I’m in a mood to be pedantic, I will quote Merriam Webster about what construes a prototype: “a first full-scale and usually functional form of a new type or design of a construction (such as an airplane)”

    So in view that QEs are a new design, built where there were no precedent (Brits have not built proper carriers for a long time – no the Invincible class are not it), made with cutting edge tech and methodologies that the carrier design had to evolved with, and set a template for subsequent, if any, were to follow, I’d say it met all of Merriam Webster’s terminology.

  7. To quote Longman [being pedantic]
    “the first form that a new design of a car, machine etc has, or a model of it used to test the design before it is produced”. If we follow the definition than the Queen Elizabeth class isn’t a “prototype”.

    The Queen Elizabeth class was only commissioned into service once it had fully completed development and had completed contractor and end user trials; well forward of the “prototype” stage. Note the term “working prototype” rather than something still in conceptual form/stage.

    Note that it the past the RN and other navies had conducted trials on prototypes but not as commissioned assets and certainly not assets in which commitments had been made towards buying. An example would be the forerunner of what would be the
    4 gas turbine boats operated by the RMN; a working prototype was trialled by the RN years earlier. Another example of a “prototype” was the Thyssen IFV sent here for trials a few years before the Adnan was ordered. It was the sole example of a privately funded venture and never entered production.

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