SHAH ALAM: DEFENCE Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed today that the contract for the Light Scout Attack Helicopter was signed recently. “We have put in a new order for (the) Light Scout Attack Helicopter, the contract has been signed,” he told reporters at the Subang airbase. He did not elaborate however.
Malaysian Defence had previously reported that the contract for six MD530G LSAH was signed in late November.
Hishammuddin also said the LSAH – which will be armed – will be joined by the Blackhawk helicopters to be donated by Brunei at the forward helicopter operating base in Semporna.
The helicopters according to the minister are among the assets deployed to Sabah to ensure the security of the state. Among the assets deployed are eight AV8s, Hawk fighters and the two offshore operating bases.
Apart from the confirmation of the MD530G contract, Hishammuddin also said that procurement of assets under the 2016 budget are expected to survive the review expected soon following the deteriorating world economic conditions.
The minister was speaking to reporters after the welcoming ceremony for the second RMAF A400M airlifter – M54-02 at the airbase. Hishammuddin also officially opened the two hangars of 22nd Squadron built to house the four A400Ms. The hangars were completed in mid 2015 and the 22nd Squadron officially moved in on Dec 29.
The second A400M – M54-02 – arrived at Subang airbase on Dec 29. It was closed door affair – though two Fulcrums accompanied the A400M for a flypast over the airbase.
Pictures of the A400M flying in a close formation with the two Mig-29Ns are available at the Malaysian Wings website. Scroll down the page for the pictures.
RMAF officials I spoke to on the subdued homecoming would only say that the Fulcrums were conducting training flights when they accompanied M54-02 into Subang. As it is, low speed intercepts with a fast jet require plenty of training. Like many other skills it needs lots of practice to do it correctly and more importantly safely.
The third and fourth A400Ms are expected in April and November, respectively.
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