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:
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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