Brunei Confirms Transfer of Blackhawks

RBAF S-70i Blackhawk, USAF

SHAH ALAM: The Brunei Defence Ministry has confirmed the plan to transfer its S-70A Blackhawk helicopter to Malaysia, in a statement released on its website today.

The statement did not say how many helicopters will be transferred but since Brunei operates four S-70A Blackhawk helicopters it is likely all will be transferred as reported by Malaysian Defence previously.

Among others the statement said that both countries had a long term collaboration and defence ties through various exchanges and training and involvement in foreign missions.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, arrivals at the 4th biennial Brunei Darussalam International Defense Exhibition aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on the flightline at Rimba Air Base, Dec. 3, 2013.  USAF photo
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, arrivals at the 4th biennial Brunei Darussalam International Defense Exhibition aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on the flightline at Rimba Air Base, Dec. 3, 2013. USAF photo

“The collaboration is expected to be enhanced with the planned transfer of the S-70A Blackhawk helicopter of the Royal Brunei Air Force to the Malaysian Armed Forces.”

“The helicopter remained in service with TUDB and the transfer is expected to be at the earliest in September when the new S-70i helicopters of TUDB are fully operational. The process of transfer will be discussed further by both parties.”

“The Defence Ministry is hopeful that the transfer of the helicopter will contribute in improving the capabilities of the Malaysian Armed Forces and the efforts of both countries to protect the peace and security of the region.”

TUDB is expected to operate at least 4 S-70i in September with an additional eight to be delivered in stages until 2016.

RBAF new S-70i Blackhawk on display at BRIDEX 2014. Brunei Times.
RBAF new S-70i Blackhawk on display at BRIDEX 2014. Brunei Times.

The release:

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Rabu 28 Januari 2015 – Kementerian Pertahanan sukacita memaklumkan bahawa hubungan pertahanan antara Negara Brunei Darussalam dan Malaysia semakin bertambah erat terutama dengan adanya rundingan rapat antara kedua negara; pertukaran latihan dan latihan bersama ketenteraan; pertukaran maklumat; penyertaan kedua negara dalam operasi antarabangsa seperti United Nation Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) dan International Monitoring Team (IMT); dan sebagainya.

Kerjasama ini akan dipertingkatkan lagi dengan rancangan penyerahan Helikopter Blackhawk S-70A kepunyaan Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei (TUDB) kepada Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.

Helikopter tersebut masih beroperasi dalam TUDB dan dijangka akan sedia untuk diserahkan seawalnya dalam bulan September apabila helikopter baru Blackhawk S-70i TUDB beroperasi sepenuhnya. Keterangan bagi penyerahan tersebut akan dibincangkan selanjutnya oleh kedua belah pihak.

Kementerian Pertahanan berharap penyerahan helikopter tersebut akan menyumbang kepada peningkatan keupayaan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia dan usaha kedua negara untuk menjaga keamanan dan keselamatan serantau.

— Malaysian Defence

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1 Comment

  1. AM says:
    February 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Years ago we wanted Mi-26 as payment for Russian debt. How did we come to have that requirement and how did it disappear?

    No idea
    meds says:
    February 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Regarding Malaysia as Brunei’s ‘Great Wall’, one may have recalled about the book which Tom Clancy had wrote. Great thought of the late Mr. Clancy towards Malaysia…

    Not really. He envisioned Malaysia invading Brunei with the US coming to the latter’s rescue!
    azlan says:
    January 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I doubt if the S-70s will have the same serial code series as the VIP ones; not only are the roles different but both are owned by different organisations. It will be interesting to see if the ex Brunei ones go to the army as at present a major problem is that the army just doesn’t have needed ground support infrastructure needed to support more than what it currently operates.


    When the tender for the Cougar was first issued, there was an Air Staff Requirement that projected a need for 72 helicopters.
    … says:
    January 31, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Back to the blackhawks

    What registration number will be carried by these new blackhawks?

    The “whitehawks” are coded M46

    Whould the new ones coded M46-03~M46-06?

    And what is the plan after the gift of these 4 blackhawks? Australian army has begun retiring their blackhawks. 1 squadron already retired theirs and converted to NH90. Another one squadron this year and the last one in 2017. Those are also S-70a models like the brunei airforce, with specification on par with us army UH-60L. One of the unique options for the australian blackhawks are the folding tail similar to the navy seahawk allowing easy storage on board amphibious ships.

    Maybe something like the Australian donation of c-130h hercules to indonesia could be done with the Australian blackhawks to malaysia?

    A free transfer of maybe 12 blackhawks from Australia would add to the 4 from brunei, giving a total of 16 blackhawks divided equality with some stationed in kluang, and rest in the new lahad datu camp?

    No idea, yet.
    … says:
    January 31, 2015 at 8:52 am

    The numbers is from tudm, which says it needs 27 (not 72) operational medium helicopters for its own needs, which is exactly the current quantity of remaining nuri airframes available (operational plus in storage).

    Why 27? No idea on their assumptions ( 27 new heli for the airforce with the. Current nuri’s operated by the army? Or other assumptions?)

    I believe its 27 Cougars to meet its current obligations including civil SAR. The current KPI is I believe 70 per cent operational readiness rate.
    stanman says:
    January 30, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    The Nuri upgrade is the Carson kit that Sikorski has adopted. It was first mooted in 2004, just after they trialled it for HMX-1.
    kamal says:
    January 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    If i remembered correctly, long time ago it was mentioned that Malaysia Armed Forces need at least 72 medium size heli. Well we have 12 EC725 and maybe around 28 Nuris that can be upgraded. Still short of 30. Hopefully more EC725 can be bought to fill in this gap if it is still relevant.
    azlan says:
    January 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Just as important for lifting heavy loads, the Cougar also has a powerful gearbox. The main reason the RMAF was pushing for an upgrade back in the 1990’s was to enable IFR sorties to be undertaken. The upgrade will also include an auto-hover which to date has only gone on a handful of Nuris. There is a lot of skepticism in the RMAF as to how actually prepared the army is to operate and maintain the Nuri.

    Well they actually do not want it but due to the fact that….
    … says:
    January 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    The cougar and the nuri both has 2 engines and around similar passenger capacity (around 28 persons). The difference is that the cougar has more powerful engines which gives it better performance (payload wise) in hot and high conditions.

    If you compare the cost of a new cougar, and the cost to do the nuri upgrades, you could get like 5-6 nuri upgrades for each 1 of the new cougars. So the descision to upgrade all nuris is almost a no brainer.

    If i am not mistaken the new nuri upgrades includes full modern lightweight wiring harness and glass cockpits similar to the latest s-70i blackhawks. If that is the case, the same cockpit upgrades could be done in malaysia to the s-70a blackhawks, to commonize the s-70a cockpit displays with the nuri and the s-70i.
    azlan says:
    January 30, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Merlins are notoriously expensive because of the 3rd engine; which also makes it more expensive to run. For countries with deep pockets, maintaining a Merlin is not an issue but for us it is. Then there is also the question of whether we actually need a helicopter with 3 engines. The Cougar has 2 engines but has a payload almost similar to the larger Nuri and is perfect for our immediate requirements.
    … says:
    January 29, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Currently the bell 212 of the 1st sqn has been replaced with the s-70i that has arrived (5-6 units so far if not mistaken)

    Further deliveries of s-70i will go to the 4th sqn which currently operates the s-70a
    Rokuth says:
    January 29, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Is it correct that the new S-70i choppers will be replacing both the S-70A, and the Bell 212s in service with the TUDB? I believe that they have 7 of the original 8 Bells still flying. If they are being replaced, any word on what will be happening to them?

    I have no idea whats going on with the Bells, perhaps they will be replaced by the S-70i as well. I have not heard anything about the Bells at the moment. But it must be said they are quite elderly, ordered in 1974. Yes they maybe as low houred as our Nuri but I guess it is better for other Bell users like Philippines or Indonesia to get them if Brunei wants to off load them.
    stanman says:
    January 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    The big problem with air assault operations is that you wind up with light infantry on the far end unless you invest in heavy lift choppers. They are also horribly expensive to run, a real issue for ever pokai gomen.

    More pertinently, the enemy moves freely thanks to local facilitation. The clampdown on maritime movement has been one of the most effective steps and the New Village Lite measures have made infiltration harder. Still…our major problem is that many Tausug really do not regard themselves as Sabhans or Malaysians.
    Lee Yoke Meng says:
    January 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    The nuri we have. Upgrade it n it will still serve us well. No need to spend on brand new helis. But when we have more money by all means buy more ec725’s. Maybe even buy some Chinooks. If not also some merlins or nh90 . We need more large or midsize heli to transport large numbers of soldiers yo give them mobility. This capability is critical during times of need
    SgWay says:
    January 29, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Despite this freebie. I hope Rmaf procure more helicopters.

    Rather than the attack helis, buy more EC725 to complement the S-70 for ESSCOM operations. Seem Mindanao is now volatile following the alleged fight between Phillipine soldiers and MILF militants.
    kerberosWXIV says:
    January 29, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Guess meat pies do fall from the sky, lol. But from a strategic point of view, by investing in Malaysia security, Brunei is also securing its own backyard. A stable Malaysia also provides a Great Wall of sort against Indonesia influence on Borneo… Anyway, another good day for Malaysia…
    Fan says:
    January 28, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Terima kasih daun keladi, Kalau boleh nak lagi…
    Man says:
    January 28, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Terima kasih TUDB
    Iqmal says:
    January 28, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    The whole fleet? All 12? Good gracious TUDB.

    There are only 4 S-70As in TUDB.
    … says:
    January 28, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    sekali lagi

    terima kasih brunei…

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