The AW139. It is a beauty all right. But is the MMEA really desperate for a new helicopter? No, but the air force really needs one and they just got snubbed.
KUALA LUMPUR: As RMAF and the police helicopter acquisition plans goes down the drain, it appears that MMEA had escaped the chop. One wonders why especially as the helicopters will be flown by the air force boys any way. MMEA’s ridiculous deal for the two CL-415 amphibians also appeared to have survive the economic crisis.
The press release was announced on Oct 30. One wonder why it was announced just now as the deal was signed during DSA 2008. Was it because it took that long to get the contract legally binding (some procurement contracts have been delayed due to the tardiness of the Finance Ministry in issuing the Letter of Credit) or perhaps its just AgustaWestland getting back at Eurocopter for losing both the Cougar and Fennec deals! My guess? Both!
Any ways, at current exchange rate, the deal is worth around RM700 million. Certainly much more than the eight helicopters bound for police (acquisition price RM350 million/approved allocation and now canceled was RM250 million). It is also half the amount of money for the now canceled Cougars (RM1.607 billion as clarified by Pak Lah yesterday).
Again, National Interest at work! What is more important? Flying around to detect possible intrusions of illegal immigrants (who get in any way using legal means) or replacing an ageing national asset tasked with all sort of missions for god and country?
AgustaWestland signs contract worth over 200 million dollars to supply AW139
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has signed a contract worth over 200 million dollars with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for the supply of three AW139 helicopters plus options for several additional aircraft.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency will use the helicopters for search and rescue, coastal patrol and law enforcement duties.
The agreement marks the entrance of the AW139 in the Malaysian government market and further confirms its success worldwide. Over 400 units have been ordered so far by more than 100 customers in over 40 countries, making the AW139 the best selling medium twin helicopter worldwide.
The AW139 is more and more setting the new standard for a number of roles including search and rescue, patrolling and fire fighting and it has been chosen by leading operators in several countries comprising Italy, UK, Spain, Estonia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The AW139 has also achieved a remarkable success for other roles including VIP/corporate, offshore, emergency medical service, utility, military duties, law enforcement, homeland security and border patrol.
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