Bomba Takes Delivery of AW189s

The two Bomba AW189s as seen stored in the Leonardo hangar in March 2018. The nearest helicopter is 9M-BOE with the far one is 9M-BOF

KUALA LUMPUR: Bomba takes delivery of AW189s. The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) air wing has finally taken delivery of two Leonardo AW189 super medium helicopters today. Both helicopters have been stored at the Leonado hangar at Subang for almost a year now after delivery from Italy where both were manufactured.

I was told that there were issues in getting certification from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) for Bomba to operate them. This was puzzling as Weststar already operates four of them commercially. As I was not aware of the delivery ceremony today it is likely that I will only get more on this at LIMA next year. Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin says the helicopters cost RM105 million each. An official from the ministry has confirmed that the two helicopters were purchased.

The two Bomba AW189s as seen stored in the Leonardo hangar in March 2018. The nearest helicopter is 9M-BOE with the far one is 9M-BOF

The order for the helicopters were announced at the Singapore airshow in 2016.

One of the two Leonardo AW189 9M-BOE as seen stored at the Leonardo hangar in Subang in March, this year.

The release from Leonardo (in 2016 it was called Finmeccanica) on the deal.

Finmeccanica, Italy’s leading high-technology group, has announced today at the Singapore Airshow 2016 an order by TPG Aeronautik Sdn Bhd of Malaysia for two AW189 super medium helicopters, consolidating the success of the type in South East Asia. The helicopters, whose delivery is planned in 2017, will be operated by the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia) for firefighting, search and rescue and disaster relief missions.

JBPM selection of the AW189 will expand their capabilities and will, as an existing operator of two AW139s, enable them to take advantage of the shared benefits in training, operations and support provided by the Family of AgustaWestland products, which include the AW169, AW139 and AW189 types.

Finmeccanica’s Helicopter Division continues to grow in Malaysia with the delivery to Galaxy Aviation of two AW139, joining the already impressive fleet of the types operating in the Country, and in the Philippines, with two helicopters to be operated for corporate/executive transport. South East Asia continues to be one of the fastest growing market for Finmeccanica and its Helicopter Division, with additional interest coming in both the government and commercial sectors.

AgustaWestland Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica, continues to play a major role in the Malaysian helicopter market expanding its presence and increasing its capabilities through a continued programme of investment. AgustaWestland Malaysia is a Malaysian DCA approved maintenance and repair organisation.

The tail of 9M-BOF.

As I reported in 2016, the company that signed the contract with Leonardo was TPG Aeronautik, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of AVP Engineering Sdn Bhd, which had won contracts to supply fire engines and other equipment to Bomba. AVP Engineering is a subsidiary of CB Industrial Product Holding Berhad (CBIP), a company listed on the Bursa Malaysia main board.

A closeup of 9M-BOE. As the helicopter looked very similar to the AW139 the best way to differentiate the two is the four windows on the AW189. Its three on the AW139.

AVP had sold MAN trucks to the Army and it also brought in the Hanwa 6X6 at DSA 2018.

9M-BOF as seen from the other side of the Leonardo hangar.

With the delivery of the two AW189s, the Bomba air wing now has nine helicopters. The rest of the fleet comprised of a single AW109; two AW139s and four Mi-17Vs. All were procured by the department, apart from two of the Mi-17s which were originally bought by the police and then transferred to Bomba after the then Department of Civil Aviation refused to supply the police with the operating certificates.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2201 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. It is very weird that malaysian governmental public service like the Police and the Bomba cannot have waivers in their flight certification. In the US, there is the restricted category, where basically anything goes as long as the helicopter is owned by a governmental body.

  2. just wonder we got all these 5 AW helicopters, what are their main role? Do they carry the fire and rescue task like what Mi-17 did? If they purpose is just for transport or air surveillance during disaster, i personal feel is a waste of money. As a front line rescuer, they need more mi-17 or similar capability helicopter…

    Transport and utility tasks..

  3. Can’t see any winches above the cabin doors on both machines.So again,what are the Bomba fellas going to use both Leos for?

    Transport and utility tasking

  4. @ marhalim

    I had a few conflicting reports on this. Are they bought outright or leased?

    I checked and has been told that both were bought outright

  5. Utility tasking? Really? In the past such tasks were handled by RMAF where such assets have wider utilisation and tasking. Hard to imagine why BOMBA will be allocated helicopters for utility or transport,again waste of taxpayers money. I am sure such tasking can be bought from commercial operators or have RMAF assign resources to support.

  6. Was quite dissapointed to know that there is no money to buy new firemens fireproof suits since 2015 but there is money to buy new AW189 helicopters.

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