Dutch Upgrading their PC-7s

Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs from Pulatibang 1 conducting a fly past for the Wings presentation ceremony today at KTU, Alor Setar.

SHAH ALAM: Dutch Upgrading their PC-7s. As you are aware, the RMAF is scheduled to retire its fleet of Pilatus PC-7 Mk 1 turbo-trainers and its Alouette light helicopters, this year. However, the service have yet to confirm the actual retirement dates though from the look of it, these aircraft are basically retired.

The PC-7 is replaced by the newer version – the Mk 2 – while the Alouettes are being replaced by the EC-120Bs.

RMAF leased training helicopter, the EC120B/H120.

Interestingly, another user of the PC-7 Mk 1, the Netherlands Air Force have decided to upgrade its 13 aircraft fleet. Details are sparse but the first aircraft has recently upgraded with a new glass cockpit by Pilatus itself.

Dutch Air Force Pilatus PC-7 Mk 1 538 which has been upgraded with a glass cockpit. Dutch Air Force

The Dutch had only started the using the PC-7 in 1989 so perhaps their aircraft are in a much better condition than ours which had been in service since 1983. Around 30 Mk 1s are believed to be still on RMAF’s list from the original 44.

A drawing of PC 7 Mark I M33-25

Perhaps, instead of just retiring the Mk 1, we could upgrade some of them just like the Dutch ones, so they could still be a feasible ab-initio trainer for the Kolej Tentera Udara in Alor Setar, Kedah where raw recruits are trained to be pilots.

Two EC-120Bs conducting a fly past for the Wings presentation ceremony at KTU, Alor Setar in May 2016

I was told several years back that in the late 90s, RMAF was mulling whether or not to exchange the Mk 1s for brand new Mk 2s. The idea apparently did not work out as we then in 2001 decided to buy new Mk 2s and retained the Mk 1s.

The four new Mk 2s with the older ones in the dispersal shed at KTU flight line. Picture taken in 2016

Perhaps the idea could be revived again so we can have extra Mk 2s instead.

Anyhow, the famed German small arms manufacturer, Heckler and Koch, has come up with a new design to replace its own G36 to meet it’s armed forces requirements.

HK433. Larry Vickers.

The HK433 looks like a winner, I am guessing many operators and wannabes are already dreaming of getting their own guns!

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. There are still a lot of other airforces still using the PC-7 Mk1, including the swiss air force. UAE still kept their PC-7 Mk1 even though they bought the new PC-21, with the PC-21 actually replacing their hawk jet trainers instead.

    The only thing the Mk1 lacks compared to the mk2 is an ejection seat, retrofitting one would be expensive.

    Additional used PC-7 mk2 are available from South Africa, which stored about 20 of them after upgrading 35.

  2. How many Pilatus PC7 MK II do we currently have actually? It’s nice to see the airforce having the original number of 44 PC 7 flying again if they could upgrade the idle MK Is to MK II standard.

  3. @ lalok

    We currently have 21 PC-7 Mk2, with 3 already crashed.

    Mk1 and Mk2 are actually a totally different aircraft, the Mk2 actually is a PC-9 airframe with a lower powered engine. You cannot convert Mk1 into Mk2.

  4. Read something bout a checkup by UN representatives on one of our battalion. Can anyone help me with what is happening.

  5. @ Nihd

    Didn’t you comment on the “firepower redux” article? I wonder if you really comprehend what is written by Marhalim in that article.

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