Eurocopter on A Roll

KUALA LUMPUR: Although its Letter of Intent for the Nuri Replacement Programme have come under attack (by none other than an Umno division leader, who had been awarded defence contracts in the past and now taken up by the opposition to attack the soon-to-be leaving PM and his designated replacement), Eurocopter’s future in Malaysia seemed rosy.

Malaysian Defence was made to understand that the police is soon to order four EC155 (civil version of the AS 365 flown by APMM) and two Fennec to boost its Air Wing. The PDRM have been operating single engine and twin-engine Fennecs for years now, so the procurement could be as a testament for the French-based helicopter manufacturer. Originally, PDRM wanted to procure up to 21 helicopters under a PFI deal but somehow the deal got scuttled.

If the PFI deal had gone through, PDRM would have end up with the most modern rotary fleet in the country besting even the air force and army air wing which may well see Mi-17s (in what ever variants if the National Interest guys have their way) forced down their throat in their near future. As it is, PDRM rotary fleet remained the most up to date compared to the other services.

With a history of getting rid of Mi-17s off their back, who will say that PDRM will not get their cake and eat it too? The air force may not get their AW101 but that option remained open to the boys in blue.

–Malaysian Defence

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