Its AW189s for MMEA

One of the two Leonardo AW189 9M-BOE of the Fire and Rescue Department as seen stored at the Leonardo hangar in Subang in March 2018. Malaysian Defence picture.

SHAH ALAM: The Home Ministry issued the letter of acceptance for four Leonardo AW189 super medium helicopters to Galaxy Aerospace (M) Sdn Bhd today. The issuance of the LOA was conducted by Home Ministry secretary-general Ruji Ubi, the Home Ministry said in a release.

Malaysian Defence has posted on the MMEA’s search for four new super medium lift helicopters within the last two years. Here and here.

MMEA AW139 M72-03. Apart from its duty with APMM, the helicopter is also used for various other duties. Picture taken in late 2013. Malaysian Defence

The release did not mention the contract cost though. I am guessing that it will be north off RM300 million based on the contract for the three AW139 helicopters for the RMN. Perhaps, they will announce it at DSA 2024 this May.

The release from the Home Ministry:

Putrajaya, 23 Januari 2024 – Majlis Penyerahan Surat Setuju Terima bagi Perolehan Empat Buah Helikopter Medium Lift Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM) telah disempurnakan oleh YBhg. Datuk Haji Ruji bin Haji Ubi, Ketua Setiausaha, Kementerian Dalam Negeri di Bilik Mesyuarat Pertiwi, Setia Perkasa 1, Kementerian Dalam Negeri.
Perolehan ini telah dilaksanakan oleh Bahagian Perolehan, Kementerian Dalam Negeri pada tahun 2022. Kontrak ini telah dianugerahkan kepada Syarikat Galaxy Aerospace (M) Sdn Bhd yang berjaya untuk melaksanakan perolehan empat buah helikopter jenis AW189 lengkap dengan kelengkapan peralatan misi untuk menyokong operasi Jabatan/ Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia (APMM).
Majlis turut dihadiri YBrs. Tuan Haji Khairuddin bin Bakar, Setiausaha Bahagian Perolehan, YBhg. Laksamana (M) Datuk Hamid bin Haji Mohd Amin, Ketua Pengarah APMM dan wakil syarikat.

It appears since my angry post on the lack of interest on MMEA, the Home Ministry is scrambling to ensure the service got its much-needed equipment.

When delivered, five AW189s will be in service with two Malaysian government agencies, MMEA and Bomba which had two. One Bomba AW189 helicopter crashed last year. It is unclear whether it will be repaired though. The AW189s will be an addition to the MMEA rotary fleet which includes the Dauphin and AW139 helicopters.

What is left of Bomba AW189 9M-BOF helicopter after it crashed on the apron of MIAT adjacent to Subang airport. Bomba

It is interesting to note that Galaxy Aerospace officials recently met with their counterpart from Lockheed Martin at their facility in Subang. Galaxy Aerospace, perhaps, will be bidding the Black Hawk helicopters for the RMAF programme for twelve new helicopters.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Galaxy Aerospace is under Gading Group right? Together with Gading Marine as part of the Gading Group.

  2. “bidding the Black Hawk helicopters for the RMAF programme”
    If what the Blackhawk maint cost being too high is true, its likely this bid is dead in the water. It would be more logical they continue with Airbus Heli.

  3. No lah, the maintenance for the VIP Black Hawks is high as it was part of the VIP fleet contract. That is why I said it was wrong for them to benchmark the maintenance cost of the VIP Black Hawks.

    For utility Black hawks, the maintenance cost is basically the same as the EC725. Infact according to a Google search, the Black Hawk and EC725 operating costs, it will be around US$3000 per hour.

  4. Yeah I also dont think Blackhawk maint cost is unreasonable otherwise other nations would not have adopted it. Lets just hope the beancounters and pursestring holders are aware of this and do not come to a conclusion based on the VIP Whitehawks example.

    But new Blackhawks are not to say cheap either, if we want to save cost (or rather due to low budget), we could FMS the recently retired Lima Blackhawks for USD $2mil a pop and engage a local company to upgrade them before entering service (to support the local industry spiel). Or else we could buy the upgrade kit & TUDM personnel do the work inhouse, similar to the Hornet mini-SLEP.

    And if TUDM are successful to get Blackhawks, I hope it could spur PUTD Blackhawk lease come to fruition as well.

  5. Ahh yeah via EDA, sorry on that as I got their terminologies mixed. But yeah would have been more viable to get via EDA then.

  6. Rock – seems like 2024 is a good year for our security forces”

    Well it’s only been 25 days .. A wee bit early days to make any predictions.

    As for costs; nothing is cheap to procure or sustain these days. As things get more complex/sophisticated they get more expensive and require a higher level of skilled manpower. As a former AQM once told me; when his Nuri was away for the night all he needed was his toolbox. Can’t do that with a Cougar; all electronics.

    Other countries might not have issues but then they allocate what’s needed. We on the other hand have a long history of not allocating adequate sustainments funds on time.

  7. Joe “Lets just hope the beancounters and pursestring holders are aware of this and do not come to a conclusion based on the VIP Whitehawks example”

    IMHO, I think they are aware of it and yet still do the orange to apple comparisons anyway to justify the cause of termination.

    The actual cause of termination is likely something else.

  8. Nope. The only reason I said – likely – is because I do not have the documents to prove it nor having someone who had seen or read the document to say it on record.

  9. Who makes the go-no go decision for the 4 Blackhawks? The Govt or the Army? If Govt agrees to appropriate the original budget and Army has to look for the rest elsewhere, will the Army make a go decision – knowing the true cost is likely below their estimate? Or as long as the Army provided estimate exceed the Govt budgeted amount, the Govt will make a no go decision?

  10. I am assuming you are asking about the leased Black Hawks. It got something to do with the money but not what you think. But it’s not the main reason.

  11. “But it’s not the main reason.”
    Im sure you have reasons to keep this a secret but is it possible just to share one thing: did TDM/PUTD really want the Blackhawks in the first place or was that forced onto them? Otherwise why didnt they go for other bids that uses a different brand of chopper?

  12. going for all leonardo especially for general purpose/utility helo isn’t a bad decision at all.

    They have MRO centre in malaysia, plenty of certified personnel to service the helicopter and it’s plenty capable enough for general transport use

    Other countries consolidated their helo on Bell-412 and countries like NZ actually went back on Bell-412 after the disaster that is NH90

  13. Nope the Kiwis are still flying the NH90s, they do not have the same issues like Oz. That said the NH90 has a high operating cost, around US$30K per hour. Likely due to their small numbers.

    On the Leonardo helicopters, it depends on the user requirements really. The requirements are much less stringent for para-military forces like police, MMEA and Bomba. Both the RMN and RMAF accepted the AW139 as it both has no need for external lifting which is a must-have for the Army.

    For the new RMAF helicopters, external lifting, I am told is a requirement which meant that if Leonardo wants to put in a bid, they must put in the AW149.

  14. Yes, even the then PTD said it when he announced the contract. They still want it (if the head winds could be resolved) so I guess we have it for several weeks more to see whether it will happen or not.

  15. Hopefully when they get them Blackhawks will move out from the garish digital camo paintwork and go for something conventional. Even the US Army are moving away from their digi camo pattern.

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