SHAH ALAM: Destini Bhd has officially handed over the six MD 530G light scout attack helicopter to the Army, the company said today. The handover was made following the completion of the the Final Acceptance Test which deemed the helicopters as airworthy, the company said in release/announcement to Bursa Malaysia. The Army has not issued any official announcement on the hand over however.
Anyhow, the six helicopters left the Sapura Aviation hangar (where they have been based since the delivery in February) on Saturday. They apparently flew to Kem Sirajuddin in Gemas where their pictures have gone viral on social media. It is interesting to note that they are likely based at the camp for the time being to conduct firing trials after their handover.
As you are aware the helicopters arrived here in late February, some seven years after the contract was originally signed back in 2015. Destini bought over the contract from the original agent, Halaman Optima in 2017 as mentioned in the release. What is interesting is that Destini’s statement glossed over the delays even citing the pandemic as an excuse for the late delivery. Malaysian Defence had covered the saga extensively over the years, so please check the archives for more details.
Release from Destini
DESTINI HANDOVERS SIX MD530G HELICOPTERS TO ARMY
KUALA LUMPUR – JUNE 13, 2022 : Destini Berhad (“Destini” or “the Group”)today handovers six multipurpose armed reconnaissance helicopters model MD530G to the Royal Malaysian Army (“RMA”) after the completion of its Final Acceptance Test, deeming each helicopter airworthy.
The helicopters, that were manufactured by MD Helicopter Inc., a company based in the United States of America (“USA”), will be deployed at RMA’s air unit base at the Mahkota Camp in Kluang, Johor and at the Eastern Sabah Security Command (“Esscom”).
To recap, in 2017 Destini Group acquired a 70% equity interest in Halaman Optima Sdn Bhd (“HOSB”) through its whole-owned subsidiary Destini Prima Sdn Bhd. HOSB was awarded the contract worth RM321 million by the Ministry of Defence Malaysia in 2015.
The delivery of the helicopters saw a delay due to the negotiation for extension of time on the contract with the Ministry of Defence Malaysia and the COVID19 pandemic restrictions. The progress of the contract slowed because representatives from the RMA were not able to travel to USA for training as
As part of its contract obligations, eight pilots and nine technicians from the RMA were to travel for training in Arizona, USA. Seeing that the Malaysian borders were closed all training were put on hold until borders reopened in April 2021.
In February 2022 all six helicopters took a 31-day journey to arrive in Malaysia after its pre-delivery inspection concluded in December last year.
Destini’s management is of the view that with the delivery of the helicopters, the Group could leverage on its existing expertise in maintenance, repair and overhaul (“MRO”) to secure MRO services on the helicopters and on other RMA air unit assets.
It is also interesting to note that the Army had also failed to built a dedicated hangar facility to operate the MD530Gs outside off Kem Mahkota in Kluang. As off now, from the pictures circulating in social media, the helicopters are being staged off a parking lot from one of the units at Kem Sirajuddin. As for the Royal Malaysian Army (RMA) as stated by Destini in their release, its their fault, not mine.
— Malaysian Defence