How Much Is That Helicopter In the Window Part 3

A RMAF EC725 helicopter carrying a single 105mm pack howitzer at the Army's 89th anniversary celebration on March 1, 2022. BTDM

SHAH ALAM:A Google search revealed that the base price for an Airbus H225 helicopter (the civilian version of the H225M or EC725 AP) is around US$30 million or RM126 million. The Aircraft Calculator website even stated that the average price of a pre-owned H225 is around US$13 million or RM54 million.

It stated that the cost of operating a single H225 helicopter for an hour of flight was about US$3K or RM12K (this was based on a $5.12 average price for the aviation fuel). The details are below:

MHS Aviation H225. Airbus

Depending on numerous factors, the average price for a pre-owned AIRBUS H225/Eurocopter EC 225 is $13,000,000.00. A $6,500,000.00 loan over 120 months including $27083.33 per month in-interest equates to a $325,934.14 per-period payment. Based on 450 annual owner-operated hours and $5.12-per-gallon fuel cost, the AIRBUS H225/Eurocopter EC 225 has total variable costs of $1,117,468.80, total fixed costs of $372,497.50, and an annual budget of $1,489,966.30. This breaks down to $3,311.04 per hour.

MHS Aviation H225. Airbus

Why I am talking about the H225 helicopter then? Well, I have been told that a number of companies will be offering the grounded MHS H225 helicopters to meet the requirement for the leasing of helicopters for the Army Air Wing or Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat (PUTD). The requirement came about following the retirement of the Nuri helicopters by the RMAF in 2019. At that time PUTD were operating at least four Nuri in the utility roles out of 12 they were supposed to get from RMAF.
A PUTD Nuri helicopter carrying an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer at a firing exercise in 2016.

PUTD had earlier asked a new medium helicopter – in the Black Hawk class – circa 2010 to 2014 but it was shot down in favor of getting the Nuri kept in storage with Airod. Apart from saving money – most of the Army money was sucked by the AV8/Gempita programme during that time period – it also helped Airod as the RMAF also wanted to buy new helicopters which they eventually did with the EC725/H225 but limited to 12 airframes only.
PUTD Nuri helicopter lands next to a US Army Blackhawk during Keris Strike 2016. US Army picture

I was told that since the grounding and subsequent retirement of the Nuri, the PUTD aircrew assigned to the unit has had limited flight hours only. With RMAF leasing AW139 helicopters from Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd, I was told that the Defence Ministry was amenable to a similar programme for the PUTD.
A PUTD Nuri helicopter carrying an Oto Melara 105mm pack howitzer at a firing exercise in 2016.

And despite the H225 offer, it is likely that the AW139 will prevail I am told as it is already in service and it will take just a variation order of the RMAF contract to add additional air frames for PUTD usage. If this happens I am guessing the RMAF will continue to use their EC725 to haul cannons and other things for the Army when and if needed (as with the lead picture).

— Malaysian Defence

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48 Comments

  1. If they really can do VA order, they should have done that to the RMN AW139 buy. Add VA order for RMAF instead of the really expensive leasing.

    BTW, MHS is fully owned by Boustead (and indirectly LTAT). Why are other parties that are offering those helicopters? So can do 200-300% markups? If Petronas can give so much to the military for free (UAVs, auxiliary ships, sea base, PASKAL weapons), why cant MHS pass those helicopters to RMAF for free too (or probably in exchange of tax cuts?)

    As for used EC225, there is one for sale by Bristow US LLC for just 1.5 million dollars. It is in full SAR configuration.

    Also by Bristow US LLC a 2014 version with just 1000 hours is up for 6 million dollars.

    For PUTD, there are plenty of blackhawks around, that you can even get for free.

  2. Agreed. Compared with the smaller AW139, the AW149 is closer in size and performance to the venerable Blackhawk. Still I would have pushed to get S70i civvie config with minimal or no modifications off the production line for USD $15mil each, simply for the ultra dependability, reliability, servicing, track record, and flexible adaptability. A militarised Caracal that is double the price of an S70i is way overkill for utility needs. We just need a dependable workhorse not a glam princess.

  3. On paper a Cougar can perform the respective roles required by the army and RMAF an ideally for commonality both services should operate a common type. The key question is what does the RMAF about the Cougar? Does it desire follow on ones or does it for whwhatever ever reasons wants something else? As gonggok has pointed out, why does the RMAF have a requirement for 36? Is it due to concerns that it will still have t fill in for the army? As it stands the army’s manpower k vel.and ground support infrastructure is somewhat limited and stretched. It took longer than expected getting ready for the Nuris.

    Also, in this day and age stuff like a FLIR, INS, HUMS and glass cockpit are considered essentials; not luxuries.

  4. Why would anyone want to get the AW149?

    There are only 3 users of those in the whole world.

    – thai police
    – thai army
    – egyptian army

    By the way S-70 is simply the Sikorsky designation for the H-60. S-70 is not a civvie version of the H-60. As is the S-61 is the Sikorsky designation for H-3. RMAF S-61A-4 Nuri for example is not a civvie version of SH-3 Sea King.

    Other examples aussie blackhawks are called S-70A-9. RMAF whitehawks are S-70A-34. If it is not called H-60 something, it just means that it is bought directly from Sikorsky, not through the US government.

  5. Azlan- why does the RMAF have a requirement for 36? Is it due to concerns that it will still have t fill in for the army?

    Think you explained it quite well yesterday. Every agency has a slightly different requirements while the gov want commonalities.

    So it wouldn’t hurt if they try their best to monopolies the acquisition to get the best platform that fit their own need best being chosen.

    On top of heli it does seem TD & AF fought over who get to choose & operate GBAD while CG & RMN over OPV & FAC.

  6. @gonggok

    Yes,and?

    Don’t forget we’re also considered as early adopter to EC725 and Super Lynx. Hell we also bought A400M, which, unlike EC725 or Super Lynx or even AW149, didn’t have any legacy design to fall on and yet despite some teething issues, we’re generally happy with it and it even opens up capability previously unavailable to, say, C-130

  7. 5Zaft – “while the gov want commonalities”

    It’s the armed services who desire greater commonality as they are the ones who have to deal with the mess.

    5Zaft – “So it wouldn’t hurt if they try their best to monopolies the acquisition”

    The final decision lies with the politicians and bureaucrats. The armed services are conscious of the need to reduce the logistical/support footprint.

    5Zaft – On top of heli it does seem TD & AF fought over who get to choose & operate GBAD while CG & RMN over OPV & FAC”

    No they didn’t. The RMAF has long agreed that GAPU will evaluate whatever MANPADs are considered and that GAPU will have an integrated and layered GBAD. The RMAF interested medium range systems for installation.defemce. THe RMN has no need for FACs; nor does the MMEA and the closest the RMN wanted as far as OPVs go are follow on Kedahs fully fitted specific roles – unlikely. They never “fought” over those issues.

  8. Azlan,

    “The RMAF interested medium range systems for installation.defemce”
    You don’t use a medium range SAM just for installation defence. Medium wange SAM is usually used for wide area defence, such as a whole city. It has also been agreed that all land-based air defence will be under the coordination of GAPU. So why does RMAF plans to have medium range SAM, instead of leaving it to GAPU?

    “They never “fought” over those issues”
    Probably. But clearly they have not discussed the requirements among them. It can be seen from the duplications that their requirements are not discussed with other stakeholders. Which is why we can see
    – both RMAF and PUTD has the same requirement to replace the Nuri
    – RMN and MMEA fleet plans clash with each other, with RMN spending so much budget for patrol boats.

    With proper deconflictions, budgets would be saved and priority could be given to important capabilities.

    For example
    – Leaving Nuri replacement and medium range SAM to the army will free more budget for RMAF to get more LCA/FLIT, AEW&C, Electronic Attack, and UCAVs.

    – Leaving OPV and all patrol boats to MMEA will free more budget for RMN to get proper fighting frigates and submarines.

  9. Dundun – Don’t forget we’re also considered as early adopter to EC725 and Super Lynx.”

    Both were based on widely used platforms and had already been operated/ordered by others.

    Dundun – “. Hell we also bought A400M, which, unlike EC725 or Super Lynx or even AW149, didn’t have any legacy design to fall on”

    By and large it’s consisted not ideal to order something which hasn’t even entered service or which is only operated by a few users. Other countries have the resources to withstand the impact if things going ratshit; we don’t. We rejected the S-92 on the grounds it hasn’t been ordered by anyone; as we did with various other things.

    Dundun – .it even opens up capability previously unavailable”

    That’s with the benefit of hindsight. Things could have gone the other way; we were lucky. Cash for the A400Ms were also diverted from other things.

  10. @gonggok
    “Why would anyone want to get the AW149?”
    Why not if it suits their needs. A Nuri has gross weight of 8.4t while an AW139 has 7t. The bigger AW149 is 8.6t thus it is the closest in load capacity to Nuri if we’re looking for a 1to1 replacement. A Black Hawk gross weight tops all with 9.9t so it has better flexibility than either of them, which brings me to…

    USA considers Black Hawks for law enforcement and firefighting airwing as civilians with the latter sometimes crewed by volunteer firemen. Thus one can get a civvie specced Black Hawk minus all the militarised stuff at cost efficient prices for utility usage. And as the Pinoy order clearly indicated, another avenue to purchase is from the oversea maker of S70i, PZL Mielec. H-60 is basically terminology used in USA armed service, it has no meaning outside of USA, but within to distinguish it from militarised Black Hawks (H-60), civvie Hawks used its worldwide commercial naming (S-70).

  11. joe,

    let me ask you again

    Is the RMAF S-61 Nuri a civvie version of the SH-3 Sea King?

    or

    Is the Australian Air Force S-70 Blackhawk a civvie version of the UH-60 Blackhawk?

  12. Azlan

    AW149 is also based on the widely used and proven AW139 so what’s the issue here?

    A400M is built by Airbus consortium after all and they have the money and technology to build a completely new planes and despite all the setback, they’re now building a plane considered as a leader in its class with while other companies are still bumbling with their alternative planes

  13. RMAF, TDM and RMN must somehow try to divert some of their opex to capex to ensure that those money were not wasted on leasing equipment for 5 years with the same price of buying new one that could last 15-20 years.
    Well i doubt this could be done plus someone who invest in Weststar would not get as rich if helicopters were bought instead of leasing.

  14. gonggok – Medium wange SAM is usually used for wide area defence, such as a whole city”

    The RMAF has had a long-standing requirement for a SHORADs to enable to enable the defence of certain bases. At one point the RMN also had a requirement for a similar system for Sepanggar; that obviously has been put on hold.

    As for “wide area defence” it depends. By right defence of an area as large as a city would be undertaken by SHORADs and longer range higher altitude systems to enable a layered defence against a variety of targets coming in at varying altitudes and ranges; both complementing each other.

    gonggok – So why does RMAF plans to have medium range SAM, instead of leaving it to GAPU”

    Obviously because whilst GAPU is intended to provide an umbrella for the army; the RMAF’s requirement for a SHORAD is for service centric roles; i.e. defence of bases and installations. If one wants to question why the RMAF needs a SHORADs on the basis that GAPU on paper should have the job; one must as well question why the RMAF and RMN need a V-SHORADs.

    gonggok – – both RMAF and PUTD has the same requirement to replace the Nuri
    – RMN and MMEA fleet plans clash with each other, with RMN spending so much budget for patrol boats”

    Yes you keep mentioning and I keep responding. The army and the RMAF have a requirement to replace the Nuri and ideally both would have a common platform but ultimately both see their platforms doing different things – look at the nuances instead of the wide generalised picture. On the “patrol boat” issue first of all [again] the RMN would like nothing better than to do way with certain roles but it can’t because the MMEA simply isn’t in the position to fully assume all its responsibilities – what’s supposed to
    happen on paper and what’s achievable in reality are 2 profoundly different issues. Not only that but the RMN does not seek additional “patrol boats” [iys priority for the foreseeable future are the LCSs and LMSs Batch 2s] and it had intended the Batch 1s to be fulky fitted out buy but unfortunately circumstances were such at a political level.

    If your referring to the follow on Kedahs mentioned in the 15/5 this is a subject already done to death and again I will point out that they are as likely as a tooth fairy and that in the very unlikely event they become a,reality; despite their “NGOPV” designation they are/were intended to be fully fitted out to perform certain types of wartime roles in parallel with other assets

    gonggok – But clearly they have not discussed the requirements among them”

    You know for a fact they haven’t or you assuming they havent? Are you aware [no doubt you are] that various services have agreed on various things with regards to who operated what and role duplication?

  15. Luqman – RMAF, TDM and RMN must somehow try to divert some of their opex to capex to ensure that those money were not wasted on leasing”

    Plainly obvious but as has been mentioned the government decided that cash would only be available in the next Malaysia Plan … As such; despite it not being cost effective overall; the army and RMAF had no other alternative to a leasing arrangement be cause that’s all the government would agree to.

    Dundun – AW149 is also based on the widely used and proven AW139 so what’s the issue here?”

    I explained in my previous post; self explanatory.

    Dundun – “built by Airbus consortium after all and they have the money and technology to build a completely new planes”

    Hooray! Good for Airbus but so? All I said is that we took a major risk ordering something not yet operational and that others with far more resources are in a far better position than us to take such risks. I also said that what were saying is with regards to how sound the A400M; is with the benefit of hindsight. This is not about Airbus or all the A40M’s virtues.

  16. What is wrong with getting AW149?

    It is adding yet another different type that does not have many users around the world. Unlike blackhawks or cougars.

    Also we are in the eve of advances that will totally change the helicopter scene as we know it. The FVL FLRAA selection is practically just a couple of weeks away. It will probably be a big change like moving from propellers to the jet age.

    My preference would be for RMAF to just add a few more used EC225 to its current cougars, and replace them/trade them in with the winner of the FVL FLRAA in 2031. For PUTD, just get whatever Blackhawks that we can get our hands on. Even the Aussies are replacing their MRH90 with Blackhawks, which ironically what the MRH90 was supposed to replace in the first place.

  17. >hindsight

    As opposed to what? Talking about hypothetical situation that didn’t happen?? We could talk all day about what if A400M failed but here’s the thing; it DIDN’T fail.

    The plane itself is new but the company and the people who build them isn’t. Even when the plane is bought mainly as a tool for job creation and bringing technical expertise to home you gotta admit that the air force got every cent worth out of them and opened a new dimension in capability previously unavailable to our fleet of C-130s/CN-235s

  18. In government cash accounting, the capex is called vot pembangunan and the opex is called vot pengurusan

    I don’t think its allowed to move the opex to capex. Capex to capex and opex to opex…maybe allowed for certain votes.

  19. gonggok – ”Also we are in the eve of advances that will totally change the helicopter scene as we know it.”

    For my part I’ll adopt a wait and see approach rather than form early day conclusions.
    Over the past few decades there were various claims/declarations that various things would ”totally change” certain ”scenes”.

    gonggok – ”My preference would be for RMAF to just add a few more used EC225 to its current cougars,”

    My thoughts exactly. What I’m very curious is what is the RMAF’s position on this issue compared to it’s position a few years ago which weren’t so favourable due to certain – now rectified – technical issues and issues with Eurocopter [as it was known then].

    gonggok – ” For PUTD, just get whatever Blackhawks that we can get our hands on. ”

    Has to be something not too aged or used on account of the level of the maintenance required to keep them running and the army’s somewhat limited budget for the Aviation Wing,

  20. @gonggok
    As you said before; That is a stupid question.
    When we bought the Nuris back in the 60s & 70s, choppers are firmly in the realm of military and the truly kayangan civvie usage. There are no civvie equivalents of Sea Kings then hence there was no need for different naming terminology. In today’s world, there are militarised versions of civvie choppers and vice versa. US nomenclature are for their internal usage and companies selling the same equipment overseas are not bound to use the same, which is why Sikorsky does not sell UH60 to the rest of the world but instead promotes S70.

  21. Gonggok

    While Its often that operator’s would run into teething problem for the first 10 years or so when they bought a trench 1 equipment of a new platform. Their problem with taipan & tiger are mostly solve thus The Aussie are replacing the taipan & Tiger for mostly for domestic & geo political reason rather than just the perceived unusability.

    As you said before, we are located in the middle of somewhere. Thus US would have her eyes on us regardless. So it doesn’t make financial sense for us to bribe them with weapon purchase infact they are the one bribing us to side with them. So no matter how good the Blackhawk is, the gov ain’t likely to buy it. Not when both AW & Airbus who have substantial investment here have an alternative products.

    Anyway both of Aussie taipan & tiger has 20 more years of flying left though. So maybe we should just ask them Aussie & Airbus nicely.

    “Leaving Nuri replacement and medium range SAM to the army will free more budget for RMAF to get more LCA/FLIT, AEW&C, Electronic Attack, and UCAVs.”

    Not just choosing NASAM as GBAD would greatly help AF reduce the cost to acquire weapon for all their other future platforms. it also helps them with their mission as GBAD is not just for area protection. It is also an air supremacy tools. As we see in Ukraine, Russia has poor coordinations between their GBAD & AF which disallow concurrent Operation between the 2 that leads to them failing to acquire air supremacy.

    As for nuri replacement. My opinion is that there’s should be 2 type to replace it, one is a ‘simple’ medium utility helicopter the other a few heavy lift heli so TD can carry whatever they wanted. 3 of CN235 is already converted to MSA and the others is due for retirement in 15 years times (or rather being transferred to CG). As for now the caracal would do the lifting thus the heli ATM need now doesn’t really need to be able to carry thing at all.

    As for why gov rather rent then outright purchase?. Probably it has something to do with local assembly of the LCA and thus they wanted the factory to build heli together with lca for some economic of scale.

    While on paper the cost of renting and buying are the same. In reality most of the rent money stay locally rather than a depletion of their foreign reserve for a transfer overseas. the renting & insurance company are likely a GLC, the higher dividend for LTAT & PNB make people happy without paying higher BR1M while also having the capabilities to recapture back the value of money they spend locally through taxation.

    Most importantly, how money work for individual like you and me is different to how money work to a government. The actual cost for a government to pay for anything in a currency they themselves created is literally zero. Because unlike us mere mortals that has to work to get money, a gov can just wished money into existence from thin air. But paying another country is another matter as they have a limited amount of foreign currency reserve and the gov can only get more if those country buy something from us. As for now our industrial efficiency is kinda bad, it took 70 cent of import to create 1 ringgit of export. So foreign currency reserve is really thight.

    P.s. making stuff locally is why china can afford HSR, Expressway and the world biggest navy with hundreds of SAM on board. It literally cost them nothing.

  22. dundun – We could talk all day about what if A400M failed but here’s the thing; it DIDN’T fail”

    To put it plain and simple we took a risk by buying something which was not even in service yet. We were lucky that things turned out well because it could have been different and had things turned ratshit unlike other customers we did not have the resources to cushion the impact.

    Also I don’t have perfect vision but I can still see texts without them being in upper case; unless of course you have to resort to upper casing to reinforce your narrative.

    You’re going on and on about how great the A400M is and the fact that things turned out well is with the benefit of hindsight because at various times the programme was at grave risk due to tech issues and cost overruns.

    dundun – “admit that the air force got every cent worth out of them and opened a new dimension in capability previously unavailable to our fleet of C-130s/CN-235s”

    Before calming people should “admit” things first make the effort to understand what the context of my remarks were.

    The capabilities “previously unavailable to our fleet of C-130s/CN-235s” [to quote your goodself] was not an issue because we didn’t have the actual requirement… We bought the A400Ms because it was politically expedient and to pay for them we diverted cash from others areas.

    Take this into account for the full narrative and not just the part about how great the platforms are…I know you’re gung go about the A400Ms ]it’s a great platform] but this long-standing practice of buying things for politically expedient national interests has got to stop; procurement should be based on actual requirement.

  23. 5Zaft – ”My opinion is that there’s should be 2 type to replace it, one is a ‘simple’ medium utility helicopter the other a few heavy lift heli”

    Firstly in this day and age as of 2022 there is no ”simple” platform. Stuff like a FLIR, glass cockpit, INS, HUMS, etc are not considered as luxuries but essentials. Secondly there is no requirement for a heavy lifter. We flirted with the idea in the mid 1990’s [Syed Albar had a close look at a Chinook during a visit to St. Louis] but it never went beyond that.

    5Zaft – ” Probably it has something to do with local assembly of the LCA and thus they wanted the factory to build heli together with lca for some economic of scale.”

    Like your other assumption this is plainly untrue…. There was no political desire to fund the purchase of new helicopters and a decision was made for the more expensive in the long run leasing option’ driven by politics and bureaucracy; not a plan to locally manufacture a small number of rotary platforms.

    5Zaft – ”it also helps them with their mission as GBAD is not just for area protection. It is also an air supremacy tools.”

    What? ‘Air supremacy tool”? The only way to achieve ”air supremacy” would be to have an air force and a GBAD in sufficient quantities; networked and with a qualitative edge over the opponent. No AD system can or has ever achieved ”air supremacy” on its own and its not intended to. Also look at the distinction between ”air supremacy” and ”air superiority”..

    5Zaft – ”As we see in Ukraine, Russia has poor coordinations between their GBAD & AF”

    Deconflict limitations are due to a variety of reasons; namely integration; ‘jointness” [the air force and the army both operate AD systems], etc.

    5Zaft – ”P.s. making stuff locally is why china can afford HSR, Expressway”

    How on earth did you reach this conclusion? A lot of what China does is still dependent on foreign technology and a lot of the stuff is not ”cheap” – there is production costs; R and D costs; etc, etc.

  24. @Luqman
    Do understand how CAPEX & OPEX are used . Yes, the source of money is the same; Revenue. But how their intended purposes to an organisation is important to know why it is rare & unorthodox to be robbing Peter to pay Paul. @Hasnan is right.

    “replace them/trade them in with the winner of the FVL FLRAA”
    We need the replacements now or somewhere 2025 thereof. And we shouldn’t be in the business of experimenting with a new platform for our workhorses.

    “get whatever Blackhawks”
    Easily available Black Hawks are mostly high mileage birds from US or Aussie stocks. The Caracal hours we’re racking up to record breaking highs tell me that we shouldn’t be looking at used & well worn workhorses as maintenance & risk of failure is higher. We even balked at paying a mere RM58mil for 4 relatively-used RBAF ones, so yeah, this road is not gonna happen.

    “maybe we should just ask them Aussie”
    If ADF with their RM 155Bil defence budget could not afford to keep their troubled choppers to a satisfactory uptime, don’t ever hope we could do any better with a budget of 10X LESS. We need dependable workhorses not glam princess, or in their case, sickly glam princesses.

  25. A400M. Great transport plane. Bigger than anything the RMAF flew and its new. But, one could say, buying the A400M took valuable resources away from the C130 upgrades and basically killed any plans to get the newer and larger C-130Js. It is what it is and the RMAF adapted.
    On helicopters, the RMN needs helicopters that are navalised – long endurance, conditioned for salt water, not too big that it can’t land on their ships, etc. The Army probably emphasise lift, troop transport and fire support while RMAF probably wants something suited for SAR\CSAR type missions – not too big, not too small. So not surprising the rotary requirements are different across the branches. Can they be standardised? Definitely, but will it be standardised across the branches? Don’t know.

  26. Kel – “basically killed any plans to get the newer and larger C-130Js”

    There were no.such plans. The intention was to upgrade the Charlie fleet and then have a look at what was later available on the market. There was no urgency to replace or augment the Charlie fleet during the period the A400Ms were ordered.

    Kel – “the RMN needs helicopters that are navalised – long endurance”

    For its ASW requirement it needs something with decent legs [the aim is always to engage the contact as far away from the ship as possible]; endurance [ASW is time extensive] and a certain lift capacity to carry a,dipping sonar; torps and sonobuoys.

    Kel – It is what it is and the RMAF adapted”

    Just like how it adapted with the Fulcrums and Flankers; difference was the A400M turned out to be a sound buy in that it meets our requirements.

    Kel – “Army probably emphasise lift, troop transport and fire support”

    That has been the plan for a long time; problem is its ambitions do not tally with the resources available. Manpower, a ground infrastructure and other things are limited. Even getting a handful of Nuris operational took.longer than expected.

  27. ”If anyone thinks armed forces leasing choppers are stupid, unprecedented, not worth the money,”

    The ”stupid” part I’ll leave to you to comment on. No it’s certainly not ‘unprecedented’ [nobody here is under the illluson it is] as such practices have been going on for decades worldwide. The RMN leased a pair of Ecureuils as a stop gap solution until the Lynxs arrived. Yes in the long run it’s certainly ”not worth the money” as it’s more cost effective to allocate funds for an outright buy. There is also a difference between leasing something to await an ordered replacement and leasing something for want of anything better. As it stands the government did not want to allocate funds for a outright buy thus a leasing option was the only way.

  28. @Kel
    “Can they be standardised?”
    If you mean the chopper platform, then yes. US Army(Blackhawk), USAF(Pavehawk), USN(Seahawk), USCG(Jayhawk), county fire depts(Firehawk) are basically the same chopper airframe customised & adapted to their respective roles.

    “nobody here is under the illluson it is”
    The reaction from some here tells me otherwise. My point is just to clear any misconception one might have.

    “government did not want to allocate funds for a outright buy”
    Not really accurate. The Govt earmarked TUDM chopper buy in RMK13 & RMK14. Meantime, leasing option is their solution to tide them over. As for PUTD own buys it is still up in the air as they look to leasing option too. Leasing has a certain ROI, to a point in time whereby the cost outweighs the benefits, in any sector or industry leasing have never been the long term solution. Never has, never will be. So its understandable TUDM & TDM won’t be leasing long term but until a certain time when their chopper buys are in operation.

    And with that many utility choppers penned for TUDM, I have a feeling the role of hauling the Army will return back to TUDM, and PUTD would be relegated to the role of combat scouting & recce. Perhaps in the long run, it might haul its own, but that seem to be a distant future atm.

  29. Joe,

    “We even balked at paying a mere RM58mil for 4 relatively-used RBAF ones, so yeah, this road is not gonna happen”

    Politicians don’t like used because they cannot get 200-300% markup and kickbacks for them. We need to get rid of this problem. For example, rather than doing wasteful local assembly for FA-50 as offset, we could ask for offset of 1 ex korean Blackhawks for every FA-50 we buy. Those korean Blackhawks are going to be thrown away in lieu of new Surions anyway, so that is of zero cost to the koreans too.

    The Surion is actually much more inferior than the Blackhawk. It only has 84% range of the Blackhawk, and can carry only 9 instead of 11 troops. Overhauling instead of throwing away the Blackhawks costs only 20% of a new Surion. But the koreans are buying the Surion anyway, to have it’s local industry something to do.

  30. ”Not really accurate”

    Pray tell how so? The government did not want to allocate funds for an outright buy; thus the RMN had to seek a leasing arrangement until such a time when funds are allocated.

    ”And with that many utility choppers penned for TUDM”

    What the services request and what they actually need; plus what they feel will be approved can duffer greatly.

    Politicians don’t like used because they cannot get 200-300% markup and kickbacks for them.

    I’ll mention what I actually know. The politicians and bureacrats tend not to like pre owned because this route has little of no benefits to the local industry. As you’re aware as part of the policy [self defeating and disastrous one it is] introduced by a former PM; we prefer to have certain tupes purchases to come with the ToT; offsets and other things we have a penchant for. Another issue often overlooked when discussing the virtue of buying pre owned is that the bureaucrats/bean counters in the MOF and EPU [whose approval is needed] have an ingrained worry and reluctance to buy pre used on account of certain issues we have faced in the past with certain things with regards to rising costs and other issues related to this issue.

  31. “Pray tell how so?”
    Didn’t I already mentioned Govt intention for the buys to happen in RMK13 & 14? That is looking at 2026 the earliest so some time away. Do read again.

    “can duffer greatly.”
    Even so it may be, 24 utility choppers doesn’t some like a tactic in asking a lot in hopes of reduction to the needed numbers, 2 dozens is what we really need for operational use. Whatmore there is no such clear direction for PUTD utility choppers so the only visibility for now are TUDM earmarked buys will be doing the lifting in the foreseeable future.

    @gonggok
    As I pointed out before, workhorse choppers needs to be ultra dependable with satisfactory uptime and really they are not that expensive that we cannot afford to buy new. In fact, TUDM yearly OPEX of RM 1Bil could get easily get 16 units of civvie spec S70i @USD$15mil each. Per YEARLY easily. If TUDM wanted to. But it appears Kementah will only sanction the buys in RMK13 & 14 budget.

  32. “Do read again”

    Maybe you should read again instead of obfuscating things. This is what I clearly said – ” As it stands the government did not want to allocate funds for a outright buy thus a leasing option was the only way”

    So how can be “not really accurate” [to quote you].Self explanatory. A leasing arrangement is the only option due to the inability at present to obtain funds for new platforms……

    Even so it may be, 24 utility choppers doesn’t some like a tactic in asking a lot in hopes of reduction to the needed numbers, 2 dozens is what we really need for operational use”

    A follow order for 2 dozen on top of the dozen already operated comes to 36 and 36 would seem a high number for the RMAF given that the army has its own requirement for a platform to perform service centric roles; enabling the RMAF to focus [as has been the plan for more than a,decade now] on SAR/CSAR, SF insertion and other things.

  33. Am I obfuscating or you simply confused yourself?
    You said “government did not want to allocate funds for a outright buy”
    Which is clearly debunked by what the Government said “procure 24 new helicopters to address the decommissioned NURIs from 2026 onwards with 12 helicopters to be acquired in Phase 1 (13th RMK from 2026-2030), and 12 more helicopters to be acquired in Phase 2 (14th RMK from 2031-2035).”
    The leasing came because funding to buy will only be earmarked from 2026 onward. Doesn’t mean there is no funding at all. Go ahead and argue with the Government then or get your facts right. One or the other.

    “given that the army has its own requirement”
    And pray tell what is the TDM Plan (in figures & numbers please) since it is not as clearly stated in the coming RMKs as mentioned for TUDM? Has the plan been approved? When will it be funded? In which RMK?

  34. Yeah agree TUDM maybe only need another 12 to 16 max utility helos and maybe 12 utility + 6 sf insertion small helos to operate smoothly..36 helos (12 + 34 ) kinda over the top but of course the more the better..But as we all know TUDM should really focus on major buy like LCA,MPA and whatnot

  35. From my viewpoint?

    31 Nuris from 40+ originally, capability to be replaced by

    RMAF
    12x EC725 + 6x used EC225. Trade-in or sell off and replace by FVL FLRAA in 10-15 years time.

    RMN
    3x AW139MUH + 5x AW139MUH

    PUTD
    24x Blackhawks free transfer from various available sources. Ex-afghanistan allocation (about 37 units available) still in USA through US EDA, retired South Korean Army through offsets of LCA/FLIT and LMS batch 2 projects, Australian air force free transfer, among others. Why go for free transfer? Because obviously there is no budget under the army to buy them, and it is another option rather than going for the leasing route.

    For SF, train the MD530G squadron to operate like the AH-6 team of US SOAR. Add 6 more MD530F from ex Afghanistan stock still in USA (about 17 units available) through US EDA. Convert the MD430F into MH-6 like capability with bench seats on both side of the helicopter to carry SF teams.

  36. @Firdaus
    If TUDM choppers are the ones gonna be hauling the Army, 16 choppers would not be enough as that would mean only 8 choppers on each side of Malaysia. Putting it into lifecycle context, only 2-3 choppers would be available for use in whole of Semenanjung/East MY at any one time. Defo not even close to enough. Either PUTD needs to get their own utility fleet (which is still up in the air) or more realistically as per current situation, that TUDM will be doing the lifting in the foreseeable future hence why 24 utility choppers is a necessity.

    “it is another option”
    It is the riskiest option, in terms of reliability & safety during operation. Most of these 2nd hand birds were heavily used during their lifetime and more suited for a retiree role in private chopper services where usage would be far less demanding than the military. Pressing into our service could run the risk of higher mechanical failure leading to catastrophic accidents. Something we don’t want.

    “Add 6 more MD530F”
    TDM did not want the Little Birds in the first place, so why would they want to add it?

  37. “Go ahead and argue with the Government then or get your facts right. One or the other.”

    I got my “facts rights” from the start chum. Again [I’ll say this as,clearly and easily understood as possible for your benefit] : the RMAF was forced to look at a leasing arrangement because the government will not allocate funds for a new buy at present and the RMAzf can’t wait till the next Malaysia Plan.

    And pray tell what is the TDM Plan (in figures & numbers please) since it is not as clearly stated in the coming RMKs as mentioned for TUDM”

    Since you’re in the dark it’s [obviously] to replace the Nuris with a squadron’s worth of helicopters intended to perform the roles the Nuris were intended to perform.

  38. Am I obfuscating or you simply confused yourself”

    Coming from you that’s rich..

    “Doesn’t mean there is no funding at all”

    Show me where and when I or anybody else said so…

    I know you have tendency to cherry pick and complicate things but “do read” [to quote you] again what I clearly and unequivocally said “how can be “not really accurate” [to quote you].Self explanatory. A leasing arrangement is the only option due to the inability at present to obtain funds for new platforms”.

    Self explanatory and easily understood. Perhaps before suggesting others may be “confused” you should ask yourself if quite “confused”; unable to understand what was mentioned and the context or is unwilling to [I won’t go do far as calling you a troll].

  39. firdaus – ”Yeah agree TUDM maybe only need another 12 to 16 max utility helos and maybe 12 utility + 6 sf insertion small helos to operate smoothly”

    It needs and desires a common type for all the type of roles it sees itself performing. As for numbers if we go on the basis that it wants rotary platforms to focus largely on SAR/CSAR and SF insertion; as well as certain other roles; I see a possible need for a couple of squadrons in the peninsular and another in East Malaysia. On paper 36 is too large a number but in reality this number could be driven by various factors. Also note that it’s standard practice for the services to ask for slightly more in the expectation that they’ll never get the numbers they truly want.

    The key to also remember is that whilst the RMAF for the past few decades has been wanting to get out of the troop utility business it can only completely do so once the army has sufficient capability; as it stands the army is strapped for resources and unless improvements are made to manpower and a ground support/training infrastructure the reality is that i can absorb a squadron’s worth of platforms but not more beyond that. As such; the RMAF may want to retain a certain level of numbers for this reason; just like how although on paper the RMN isn’t responsible for peacetime constabulary types roles; in reality it still has to for the plain fact that the MMEA isn’t ready; neither has the assets in place nor the manpower of shore support infrastructure in place for a major expansion [this is often overlooked].

    gonngok – ”For SF, train the MD530G squadron to operate like the AH-6 team of US SOAR.

    We can safely assume that the 3 in ESSCOM and the 3 in Kluang will from time to time support Gerak Khas ops. Raising a unit akin to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment [even a much smaller squadron sized one] might not be in line with our actual requirements which are driven by actual resources and other things.

    gonggok – ”Add 6 more MD530F from ex Afghanistan stock”

    On paper yes but in reality unlikely; no immediate interest. We originally bought them because there was an obsession with firepower for ESSCOM and along the way we figured out other roles they could perform. One role and one I see utility with; is assigning them to work alongside a specific unit; like 4th Mechanised; to provide a scouting element.

  40. Firdaus – Yeah agree TUDM maybe only need another 12 to 16 max utility helos and maybe 12 utility + 6 sf insertion small helos to operate smoothly..36 helos (12 + 34 ) kinda over the top.

    From my totally civilians not an expert viewpoint. 36 is probably the overall numbers of all the heli that both PUTD & AF need. Afterall In the past both AF & GAPU says they should be in charge of GBAD or how navy & CG both put out about the same numbers of OPV/Corvette & FAC requirements. Seem that how birocracy works around here. Then it up to the gov to either split it in between the service or just give a monopoly to 1.

    I assume AF would want something smaller since it want it for CSAR & SF insertion while PUTD would likely wanted something big since they wanted to haul stuff around.

    The gov policy of equipment rationalization not only among ATM branches but with PDRM & CG as well mean only 1 type of equipment would be procured. the one whose proposal win get equipment that best fit their needs & budget while the other services would just have to live for the next 30 years with equipment that doesn’t fully fit their need nor budget.

  41. 5Zaft – ”is probably the overall numbers of all the heli that both PUTD & AF need”

    No… The RMAF has a paper requirement for 24 follow on platforms to add to the 12 it currently has. The army has a requirement for an initial 8-12 platforms to replace the Nuris. Both are different requirements by different services. It would be great if both services could push for a joint requirement but we haven’t reached that level of inter service cooperation yet and their respective requirements means it can’t be fulfilled by a single type.

    5Zaft – ”Afterall In the past both AF & GAPU says they should be in charge of GBAD”

    About a decade ago the RMAF agreed that GAPU should ”be in charge” in operating a GBAD network to cover but still retained a requirement for a point defence system to safeguard key installations. The RMAF has also openly made clear that it’s GAPU which is responsible for V=SHORADS; the reason why Starstreak was evaluated by GAPU and not the RMAF.

    5Zaft – ”navy & CG both put out about the same numbers of OPV/Corvette & FAC requirements. ”

    No; different requirements by different organisations; one military; one which is not.

    On the FACs; there is no ”FAC requirement’ and hasn’t been since the 1980’s. On OPVs it’s the MMEA which has the requirement; not the RMN. As part of the 5/15 the RMN had a follow on requirements for Kedahs but although these these are classed as ‘OPVS’ the RMN has no intention of operating them as ‘OPVS’ per see but as ‘OPV’ sized fully fitted out combatants.

    5Zaft – ”I assume AF would want something smaller”

    Assuming it really intended to just perform CSAR/SAR; SF insertion and other things but it depends on individual requirements/preferences. The RMAF could or already has decided that it needs something in the same weight/size category as the Cougar and would still want the ability to under sling loads given that the army might need help.

    5Zaft – ”The gov policy of equipment rationalization ”

    It is the MAF’s policy – see the CAP 55 and 5/15…. Their policy because they realise how far and high the shit can fly when one has a huge logistical/support footprint but limited funds.

  42. azlan -” it is the MAF’s policy – see the CAP 55 and 5/15…. Their policy because they realise how far and high the shit can fly when one has a huge logistical/support footprint but limited funds.”

    in reality. not just MAF, but the gov infact MY itself in her bid to escape the middle income trap and be a fully develop country need to increase the efficiency of usage of capital thus why M4 become the standard weapon for MAF,CG & PDRM. u could see PLA which at our level of economic progress also pulling similar rationalization move while TNI, IAF & AFP couldn’t really care about it.

    another thing to solve the middle income trap is to increase economic complexity which would impact ATM as they would not only be ‘force’ to increase the complexity of operation among the sister service but need to work & coordinate well with internal security also with multinational coalition of foreign military.

    azlan – “GAPU which is responsible for V=SHORADS; the reason why Starstreak was evaluated by GAPU and not the RMAF.”

    not with MERAD thought, they both want it until recently. of course what they mean by mid range is a problem since what used to be consider long range like SM2,SM6,patriot & aster 30 is now consider mid range.

    Azlan – ‘No; different requirements by different organisations; one military; one which is not.’

    mostly to do the same thing. not to mention the split between navy & CG by lot of asian nation is mostly for political & not operational reason, a fact that mahathir exploit by crying foul as he send in the CG while SG send in LMV

    Azlan – “On the FACs; there is no ”FAC requirement’ and hasn’t been since the 1980’s. On OPVs it’s the MMEA which has the requirement; not the RMN. As part of the 5/15 the RMN had a follow on requirements for Kedahs but although these these are classed as ‘OPVS’ the RMN has no intention of operating them as ‘OPVS’ per see but as ‘OPV’ sized fully fitted out combatants.’

    depend on how one define FAC thought, for me personally & guess in gonggok standard as well a sub 1000 tons is considered a FAC. it does seem RMN originally intent to replace their perdana and so on with the LMS, but now with them rehauling the old ship, i assume the FAC jobs goes to the CG & RMN would hold the fort till they are ready, whenever that is.

    as for the kedah follow up which is likely what LMS2 is. it does seem LMS2 borrow from USN LCS & JMSDF mogami concept in being a smallish multirole combatant. one could say that the current RMN plan differ from the original 15 to 5 as the 12 unit LMS & 12 unit NGPC at one time ‘requirement’ is merge into 1 class of 8 unit of LMS2. guess gonggok got his wish then.

    funny enough sometimes ago CG said they wanted 8 more OPV + 14 more FAC. one could say that every individual services create a overall requirement of what the country need then afterward rationalizing it with one another.

    azlan – “It would be great if both services could push for a joint requirement but we haven’t reached that level of inter service cooperation yet and their respective requirements means it can’t be fulfilled by a single type.”

    it does seem to me that mechanism for rationalization do exist in example i given previously but rather then TD & AF draft a joint requirement, it seem that upper up in MINDEF & the gov that makes such decision. infact i dont think even the US has that level of cooperation to create a joint requirement. seem to me like pentagon the one that just throw them the f35 & JLTV rather then them jointly ask for the F35 & JLTV.

  43. Easy there chum. Its your words against the Govt of Malaysia and they the ones on power and makes the decisions.

    “As it stands the government did not want to allocate funds for a outright buy”
    This is what you said after all, or am I wrong?

    And this is what was stated by the Govt of Malaysia
    “procure 24 new helicopters to address the decommissioned NURIs from 2026 onwards with 12 helicopters to be acquired in Phase 1 (13th RMK from 2026-2030), and 12 more helicopters to be acquired in Phase 2 (14th RMK from 2031-2035).”

    If your confused or erred, just admit it. There is nothing wrong to admit mistake. Chum.

  44. ”Its your words against the Govt of Malaysia ”

    No. It’s my word against yours… Not the ”the Govt of Malaysia” as you boldly but [as usual] inaccurately claim. In addition of backtracking; as per standard you obfuscate things.

    ”If your confused or erred, just admit it. There is nothing wrong to admit mistake.”

    The ”joe” kettle should not be calling the Azlan pot black; ”chum”.. What is there to be confused or to have erred about? Again [in language as simple/concise as possible to help you fathom this simple fact] the government has not agreed to allocate funds for new platforms; a such the only alternative for the RMAF is to lease platforms until such a time when funds are available. Nobody said the government had not agreed to allocate funds for new helicopters in the next MP.

    5Zaft – ”why M4 become the standard weapon for MAF,CG & PDRM.”

    Incorrect. The M-4 was selected because Colt was willing to allow license production and we didn’t really evaluate anything else. Even if FAMAS or anything else had been selected it would have been the standard rifle for all the services; not only for commonality but to provide SME with revenue. It’s long been pratcice to equip the armed services and other entities with a common service rifle; doesn’t mean stadarsdisation and coomonality has always been a priority.

    5Zaft – ”not with MERAD thought, they both want ”

    As has been stated before they bought want it for slightly different reasons; it’s not an overlap or a competition. You are seeing things which aren’t there. Surely you won’t expect a GAPU operated system cued in to a RMAF radar for early warning to be deployed at Kuantan or Butterworth? Even the RMAN had a requirement for Teluk Sepanggar.

    5Zaft – ”depend on how one define FAC thought”

    A ”Fast Attack Craft” by the very definition of the term implies something usually in the 400-500 tonne or slightly more displacement range and something used for limited sea denial. As such it does not ”depend”… Anything reaching the 1,000 tonne mark would be a ”corvette”

    5Zaft – ”it does seem RMN originally intent to replace their perdana and so on with the LMS”

    It does not ”seem”; it’s a well known established fact.

    5Zaft – ” it seem that upper up in MINDEF & the gov that makes such decision. ”

    Let me put this this way. Again; it’s the services who want greater commonality because they’re the ones who have to deal with things when shit hits the fan because of the large logistical/support footprint; thanks to a policy introduced by former PM. The civil servants/bureaucrats realise that greater commonality is needed but the politicians place emphasis on other things; national interests…..

    5Zaft – ”i assume the FAC jobs goes to the CG & RMN would hold the fort till they are ready, whenever that is.”

    There is no FAC jobs” per the MMEA. As stated previously here in this forum the RMN would like nothing better to do than to wash its hands of the peacetime constabulary role but until the MMEA is able the RMN is the only entity that can help fill the void.

    5Zaft – ”while TNI, IAF & AFP couldn’t really care about it.”

    Before making sweeping generalised statements you should really have a close look at things.

    5Zaft – ”as for the kedah follow up which is likely what LMS2 is.”

    Incorrect. The LMS Batch 2s have zero to do with the Kedahs, They are intended to replace the FACs and Laksamanas in orfer to perform certain roles in certain operational conditions which don’t require a larger LCS…

    5Zaft – ”it does seem LMS2 borrow from USN LCS & JMSDF mogami concept in being a smallish multirole combatant. one could say that the current RMN plan differ from the original 15 to 5”

    Firstly; the 5/15 died a natural death years ago and the RMN wasn’t even convinced it would ever succeed. It was introduced because it was politically expedient during that period. As for the ”USN LCS & JMSDF mogami” and the RMN ”borrowing” from those : no ….

    5Zaft – ”fact i dont think even the US has that level of cooperation ”

    Whether it’s with the U.S. or the Jamaican Defence Forces or us; ”jointness” and joint cooperation with regards to procurement is still an issue and inter service competition is still a major factor also; the difference is that the U.S. has been in the game far longer.

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