LSAH To Kuantan

MD530G Block II. MD Helicopters

SHAH ALAM: MD Helicopters MD-530G Light Scout Attack Helicopter (LSAH) will be based in Kuantan once it is delivered, Army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain said yesterday. The helicopters will be based at a facility which currently is expected to be completed in June, 2021, just ahead of the helicopters delivery.

He did not say where the new base will be but it is likely that it will be located inside the Kuantan airbase which itself is adjacent to the various army camps next to Jalan Gambang. If this is the case, the helicopters could easily be sent to other parts of the country using RMAF’s fleet of C-130s and the Airbus A400Ms transporters.

PUTD AgustaWestland AW109 LOH firing its minigun on the Gemas range.

Zamrose also said three Agusta A109 light observation helicopters will be based at another new facility at Sandakan airport, when it is completed in April, 2021. This was the same facility announced by the Defence Minister a few months back.

From Air Times.

KLUANG, 8 Dis – Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat (PUTD) akan menerima helikopter MD-530G buatan Amerika Syarikat pada bulan Jun tahun hadapan. Panglima Tentera Darat (PTD), Jeneral Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain berkata, Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM) juga telah mewujudkan Tim Nukleus bagi penubuhan Rejimen 882 PUTD bagi memastikan PUTD dapat terus melaksanakan peranannya dalam menangani ancaman keselamatan dengan berkesan.Katanya, pembinaan kem baru untuk rejimen ini sedang giat dilaksanakan di Kuantan, Pahang sejak 2 Februari 2018 dan dijangka siap pada 16 Jun 2021.
Pada masa yang sama, beliau berkata, pembinaan shelter untuk 3 buah pesawat Agusta A109 LOH di kem Sandakan juga telah dimulakan pada 21 Februari 2020 lalu dan dijangka siap pada 30 April 2021.
Zamrose berkata demikian dalam ucapannya semasa lawatan ulung beliau ke Rejimen 881 PUTD sempena Sambutan Jubli Perak PUTD di kem Mahkota Kluang, hari ini.
Beliau turut berkata, bagi meningkatkan keupayaan operasi serta kemahiran juruterbang, TDM kini sedang mengusahakan penyewaan pesawat bagi menggantikan pesawat Nuri yang telah ditamatkan perkhidmatannya.



As for the setting up of a new base in Kuantan for the Army Air Wing has been an open secret for awhile now. It was planned that the Nuri squadron will move there once it had received the full complement of 12 helicopters but that is moot now.

An Agusta A109 LOH firing its mini gun during the firepower exercise demonstration in 2018. BTDM

It is likely when the PUTD received their leased helicopters, these will also be based in Kuantan as well once the facility is up and running. Anyhow the statement by Zamrose also seemed to confirm that the Army will take delivery of the LSAH despite the rather confusing statement by the minister on the issue recently.


— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. i know that they did it to have a higher ranking CO for the unit, but calling each squadron as a “regiment” is simply cringeworthy.

    Anyway

    881 is the AW109 unit

    882 is the Nuri unit

    so what would be the MD530G unit?

    Also clearly the MD530G would not be in sabah. So what is the new PUTD unit in sabah that is always talked about?

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/army-getting-more-units/

    Reply
    Its the Agustas of course

  2. Unexpected; given that the Little Birds were intended to be used as a scout, fast reaction and fire support asset in ESSCOM.

    The lack of space in Kluang has always been an obstacle towards expanding the Aviation Corps; along with the limited manpower.
    Safe to assume that quite a few of the people who flew and operated the Nuris will be assigned to the Little Birds.

  3. Sorry ya if this question is stupid. Is it cheaper to lease military aircrafts — vs outright procurement? If the one-off payment is the issue, why can’t the government raise loans locally and pay in stagger basis

    Reply
    Its cheap but it will depend on the mission ie if its for law enforcement mission it will be ok. But for combat mission it will be dicey so the lessor might charge higher for it

  4. Should have upgrade two Of CN-235 coverent into Gunship.

    But for Esszone. Im sure drones will take care at ones

  5. Maybe we will use it to join force with Pt-91m as a team since we do not have budget for high-end attack helicopter.

    Reply
    More likely it will be use with the 4 Mekanise Briged which is headquartered just over the fence of the Kuantan airbase

  6. Is it true that these little birds were bought using esscom budget? If is true then w*f

    Reply
    No, it was bought for use in ESSCOM AOR under the Defence Ministry DE budget.

  7. … – “ calling each squadron as a “regiment” is simply cringeworthy.”

    An administrative/bureaucratic exercise which is pointless.

    Some air arms have “wings” which have administrative and operational control of squadron size units as opposed to several squadrons. Others have their own – peculiar to outsiders – set ups. At one point the Argentines had squadrons which were under the operational control of “grupos’; which were in turn under the administrative control of “brigades”.

  8. @ marhalim

    ” Its the Agustas of course ”

    So are you implying that there will be a new squadron of AW109 in Sabah?

    Reply
    Not a new squadron, just the permanent deployment of three A109s to Sabah

  9. Rather than lease, better ask nicely to get free blackhawks from Australian army.

    Still also no need to use any allocation from DE (like leasing). At least getting used Blackhawks at the end of the day those birds are yours.

    Also if possible, need to think of a way to divest from those little birds. If we really need them, that number is too small and we should get more (but we dont even have the money for the really important nuri replacement). If we dont, might as well not use them at all and get rid of them.

  10. Dividing the small existing fleet of AW109 between east and west malaysia would tax the 881 PUTD.

    IMO we should add additional AW109 airframes from used civilian market. A used AW109E Power only costs around USD1-1.5 million each. Probably we could get a few that is already in MEDEVAC configuration too. So VIP lift and other non frontline tasks could be delegated to civilian spec airframe (a few of the PUTD AW109 LOH is fitted with VIP interior with plush leather seats, these can be converted to utility interiors)

  11. I think it depends on how we use deploy them and under what circumstances. There are only 6 but if we operate then as a unit; rather than in penny packets by say deploying 2-3 away from Kuantan; then; assuming the threat is not too high; we’ll get value out of them despite their small numbers.

    We face the same issue with regards to numbers with the
    A’s-109s if we face a situation where mass was needed : only 3 in Sabah and 7 in the Peninsular. On top of that; not all will be operational at any given time.

    The Little Birds are yet another piece of gear that the end user had no requirement for but will have to find some use for: thanks to whoever made the decision to go for then despite no requirement or a actual trials.

    As least – despite not wanting anymore and desire inherent issues – the A-109s have some level of lift capacity and thus more overall operational utility compared to the Little Birds (unsurprising given both originally were designed for different things) but the fact that they are arriving and not going anywhere means the army has to find some use for them; safe to assume as a light scout platform or to support SF ops. Also safe to assume; that no follow on ones will ever be ordered.

  12. @ azlan

    ” There are only 6 but if we operate then as a unit; rather than in penny packets by say deploying 2-3 away from Kuantan; then; assuming the threat is not too high; we’ll get value out of them despite their small numbers ”

    Minus those in need of maintenance or other issues, realistically how many can we deploy at a time? 4 at most? Is it a worthwhile capability to maintain or better quickly divested?
    _______________________________________

    ” We face the same issue with regards to numbers with the
    A’s-109s if we face a situation where mass was needed ”

    Exactly why I wrote about this. We need the numbers.
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/lsah-to-kuantan/#comment-441290

  13. This little bird that nobody wants,even the army air corp not in favour of them well they are base at Kuantan for onev reason…..train future attack heli pilot familiarized with attack heli cockpit and all the dedicated gizmos.bult up tactic and doctrine of escot duties,close air support….tank hunting n killing etc etc…

  14. RedSot – “This little bird that nobody wants”

    The Little Bird which was ordered not based on an actual requirement by the end user and without any actual trials.

    Like other things forced upon the end user; some use will have to be found for the Little Birds. Not as if they have zero utility. If it was up to the end user; the Nuris (had they not been prematurely retired) would have been operated for a few more years until being retired or supplements with a new type. A few years ago the army has already decided it has no need for any more A-109s or any platform in its weight/size category.

    RedSot – “ are base at Kuantan for onev reason”

    Because Kuantan has room for expansion. Kluang was cramped to begin with and had limited facilities.

    RedSot – “..train future attack heli pilot familiarized with attack heli cockpit and all the dedicated gizmos”

    Actually, no …

    Like how we used Sibmas to simulate MBTs during exercises: the Little Birds will no doubt simulate gunships during exercises and like the A-109s will come in useful in refining/developing tactics but their main role will be as armed scout and quick reaction asset.

    Reply
    Its the same with the Nuris, if PUTD had their way they would have gotten new medium helicopters already

  15. if just to simulate a gunship, the AW109 by itself can do that, no need for a MD530G.

    If PUTD had their way, the nuris will still be with TUDM.

    Sometimes what a service wants is not the best thing for the country.

    If PUTD had their way, they want to be an all attack helicopter force. Going for attack helicopters are not the best use of our tiny defence budgets, and arguably not a very useful tool in our bigger defence picture. Indonesia expanded USD1 billion to get just 8 apaches. Just 8 attack helicopters for USD1 billion isnt going to give you a big advantage. All 8 could be lost in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility.

  16. … – “AW109 by itself can do that, no need for a MD530G”

    As it has done. Yet; it’s to be expected that since the Little Birds are entering service and that the A-109s (by virtue of greater lift capacity) might be doing other things; it’s given that the Little Birds; as part of their armed recce scout role; will during exercises duplicate what a gunship might do; tactically: even though they were not procured for that primary purpose

    . … – “Sometimes what a service wants is not the best thing for the country”

    But at times; what’s best for the country (itself a relative and subjective term open to interpretation and being subjective); may not be “best” for the armed services. Also; at times it’s the politicians: not the services which insist and make something a priority. When it happens; it’s not “best” outcome for the country as the taxpayer has to incur the penalties and the user get saddled with something ill suited for its needs and troublesome and expensive to maintain/support.

    … – “If PUTD had their way, they want to be an all attack helicopter force”

    Actually no ….That was only until a few years ago; under a different leadership and political climate. For the past few years the intention was to gradually supplement and replace the Nuri fleet (after it had been operated for some years) with something
    more capable.

    … – “All 8 could be lost in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility”

    Depends entirely on the operational context/circumstances. In a limited state on state war (the fighting confined to certain areas and both sides not utilising all resources) a limited number of assets might not be an issue due to the threat level or operational dictates but in a full scale one; it obviously would.

    In certain scenarios; in which one side had strategic surprise and an overwhelming overmatch; even a regiment of 24 gunships; 54 LCAs and others could be “ be lost in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility” ….

  17. @ azlan

    ” That was only until a few years ago ”

    Good for PUTD, but that didn’t change the fact that it was the original plan, and why the MD530G is in the picture in the first place (as the original helicopter that they want, the Eurocopter Tiger cannot be afforded by the government).
    __________________________________

    ” even a regiment of 24 gunships; 54 LCAs and others could be “ be lost in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility” ”

    when you compare 8 apaches to 24 used Blackhawks, what are the odds of both? and what does that cost?

  18. …. – ”Good for PUTD, but that didn’t change the fact that it was the original plan”

    Nobody said it wasn’t the ”original plan” …. I merely pointed out that from the early to mid-2000’s; at a time when the French had strong pull; it was the government which made gunships one of the priorities. Thus your statement that ”If PUTD had their way, they want to be an all attack helicopter force” isn’t true …

    …. ”(as the original helicopter that they want, the Eurocopter Tiger cannot be afforded by the government).”

    Again : the army didn’t have a gunship it wanted per see …
    The push and overall acceptance of the Tiger was on the government’s part ; during a time when the French were preferred supplier for a lot of our needs. You will also have noticed that the army did not release RFIs at that period and apart from the Tiger; nobody else made a serious and concentrated offer for anything else ……..

    … – ”when you compare 8 apaches to 24 used Blackhawks, what are the odds of both?”

    On paper naturally the numbers but in reality it depends entirely on the circumstances; irrespective of the numbers … If we want to generalise as you’ve done; indeed 8 platforms have a higher chance of being lost on ”in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility” [to quote you] but a devil’s advocate could also point out that against someone who has a huge overmatch; those 24 platforms [whatever they are] might not be lost in the ”few hours on the 1st day of hostility” [to quote you again but eventually over the following day or even after that …

    I didn’t mention the costs part; that was not germane in the context of the discussion which was your claim that a small number of platforms could be “ be lost in just a few hours on the 1st day of hostility” . Again : the circumstances which would lead to anything being lost in whatever timeframe is dependent on the overall operational context of the conflict; as is the utility of a small number of platforms ….

  19. The attack helicopter saga started in the mid-1990’s. We had established relations with post Apartheid South Africa and Mahathir had a good relationship with Mandela. Denel saw an opportunity to find a customer for Rooivalk and a political decision was made to get it; first 8 then 12; then 8 again. To sweeten the deal we were offered the Oryx with work for AiROD.

    Then came the 1997 Crisis and attack helicopters were put on hold. Later the RMAF handed one the role to the army: at a time when the army still has only Ali 3s. Eventually attack helicopters became a long term requirement and when the French started getting big desks they saw a market for Tiger and brought it to LIMA. It was not at our request and the army didn’t issue RFIs; let alone RFOs or a tender.

    Like many things a political decision was made to buy it eventually (national interests was the driving factor – relations were good with the French, they knew how to do business here) but no allocation was ever approved; nor was the requirement ever registered or approved by MINDEF, the MOF and EPU. It was only in principle (like other things); subject to funds being available. Like other things it died a natural death.

    A feasibility study done by the army indicated that not only was procurement costs and issue but also support costs. Another factor was manpower: it was already known that the RMAF was handing over the troop carrying/utility role to the army. As it turned out; getting the Nuris operational took longer than expected due to manpower and other issues

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