SHAH ALAM: Black Hawks for the Army. Back in 2021, Malaysian Defence posted that a subsidiary of a publicly listed company had offered Black Hawks – second hand ones – for the leasing tender for RMAF. The tender eventually went to Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd and currently at least three AW139s are operational with the No. 3 Squadron based at the Butterworth air base.
The AW139s were leased to cover the retirement of the Nuri helicopters and for that reason the Army had also issued a tender to lease four helicopters for a period of three to five years.
It appears that one of the six companies which bid for the Army helicopter lease is the same company that offered the Black Hawks for the RMAF one. Again. it is likely that these helicopters are ex-US military aircraft which had been purchased by US companies and offered for leasing or outright purchase to the international market.
In August, Malaysian Defence reported:
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
What is interesting is that the talk in the industry is that Weststar is not the favourite to win the tender. I was told that although the AW139 was capable of hoisting equipment, it was not the best solution to meet the Army requirements, however. I am guessing that the final word on the matter will only resolved after the general elections and a new minister take charge at Jalan Padang Tembak.
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