MOH in Peninsula

RMN AW139 MOH M503-1 landing at the RMN airwing at Lumut naval base on January 2, 2023. RMN

SHAH ALAM: RMN Leonardo A139 Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH) tail number M503-1 is now at the air wing’s base in Lumut after undertaking a nine-hour flight from Kota Kinabalu over the weekend. The 2500km journey – with several stops – was the first flight undertaken by a RMN helicopter from Kota Kinabalu, without needing a stop on board a ship, the Eastern Fleet Command said in a Facebook post on January 22.

Squadron 503 CO Commander Hairul Afikin Tukimin showing the FLIR console of 1 showing the helicopter crossing longitude 109, the first for RMN aircraft without embarking on a RMN ship. RMN

The helicopter will take part in the fleet review to be held later this week with other RMN ships and helicopters – the Super Lynx and Fennec – for the retiring RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany. The Eastern Fleet Command ships and helicopters had already done the same review for Reza on January 11 (see below).
RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany waving at the three MOH of Skuadron 503 as they conducted a fly-by during the Eastern Fleet Command review on January 11. Reza was conducting the review on board KD Selangor, the command senior ship. RMN

The post:

πŒπ„ππ†π†π€ππ€πˆ π‹π€ππ†πˆπ“ πƒπˆ π‹πŽππ†πˆπ“π”πƒ πŸπŸŽπŸ—
Kota Kinabalu, 20 Jan – β€˜Adat periuk berkerak, adat lesung berdedak.’ Melaksanakan operasi penerbangan dari Stesen Udara Kota Kinabalu (SUKK) yang berpangkalan di Pangkalan TLDM Kota Kinabalu (PTKK) Teluk Sepangar Sabah ke Pangkalan TLDM Lumut Perak bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah. Ia memerlukan perancangan yang teliti baik daripada segi persiapan pesawat, laluan navigasi atau pandu arah, analisis bentuk muka bumi dan keadaan cuaca di setiap tempat yang dilalui serta persiapan mental kru udara sendiri sebelum menerbangkan pesawat. Persiapan yang dilakukan ini tidak boleh seperti β€˜agak lebih daripada agih,’ maklumat-maklumat di atas perlu dikumpul dari banyak sumber sebelum rumusan dan kesimpulan terbaik diterbitkan.
Merentas udara sejauh 2500 batu nautika dengan jumlah penerbangan selama 9 jam 10 minit dari negeri Sabah menuju ke Sarawak dan seterusnya melewati Laut China Selatan (LCS) untuk ke Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur dan mendarat di Markas Udara TLDM di Pangkalan TLDM Lumut Perak merupakan tugasan yang julung kali dilaksanakan serta pengalaman pertama bagi kru udara TLDM yang menerbangkan pesawat Helikopter Operasi Maritim (HOM) AW 139. Sebelum ini, aset-aset udara TLDM termasuklah helikopter Super Lynx Mk 100 dan AS 555 SN Fennec akan mendarat di geladak penerbangan kapal-kapal perang TLDM terlebih dahulu dan mengikuti pelayaran bersama kapal tersebut dari Semenanjung ke Sabah dan Sarawak atau sebaliknya. Namun, bagi HOM AW 139 pesawat ini mampu melaksanakan navigasi jarak jauh merentasi garisan longitude 109 di LCS iaitu garisan menegak di peta yang membahagikan Semenanjung dengan Sabah dan Sarawak.
Kru Udara TLDM yang pertama merentasi langit di garisan longitude 109 dengan menerbangkan pesawat tanpa perlu mendarat di kapal-kapal perang TLDM ini terdiri daripada dua orang juruterbang, seorang Pegawai Taktikal Udara, seorang Kuatermaster Udara dan dua orang juruteknik pesawat berkepakaran mekanikal dan avionik diketuai Komander Hairul Afikin bin Tukimin TLDM Pegawai Memerintah Skuadron 503 yang menerbangkan HOM AW 139. Pesawat ini dijangka akan menyertai armada helikopter TLDM di Lumut, Perak dalam acara pengunduran Panglima Tentera Laut (PTL) yang diadakan di Markas Pemerintahan Armada Barat (MPA Barat). Antara acara yang dirancang melibatkan pesawat termasuklah penerbangan lintas hormat semasa perbarisan pengunduran PTL dan semasa Fleet Review.
Artikel: Lt Kdr Ahmad Fitri bin Alias TLDM, Juruterbang Operasi Skuadron 503
Foto: PW I AQM Sahardi bin Mohd Sayuti

The crew of 01 with RMN Air Wing CO First Admiral Ahmad Shafirudin Abu Bakar (in white) after landing at Lumut. RMN

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Indeed. Were they trying to prove something or what. It would been more cost efficient to land on a ship and piggyback to the base or packed and shipped via a transporter.

  2. “To be honest, what a waste of time and money when finances are so tight.”
    Which one, the fleet review for an Admiral or flying the heli from East to West Malaysia?

  3. >waste of money

    which one is wasteful, flying the helo itself or asking a ship (a big, hangar capable ship) to send the helo from point a to point b?

  4. Tom Tom – ”To be honest, what a waste of time and money when finances are so tight.”

    To be equally honest you sound like a bean counter unable or unwilling to see the bigger picture.

    – Having the ability to deploy assets from East to West or vice versa is vital. Long range flights and nav are always equally vital and need training – not something crews can get right the first time. As for not deck landing; ee also never know when they’re will be an actual need to deploy and if RMN ships will be available when needed. Before we make harsh conclusions lets first look at things in totality.
    – The question I’m much more interested is where the AW139 made its refueling stops. For Nuris the first stop in the Peninsular was always Senai.

    ”Were they trying to prove something or what.”

    Yes they were. To test and prove that something can be done if there is ever a need. If you’re aware the armed services cater for a whole list of contingencies and when possible train for them; i.e. units at times go silent and rely on couriers to relay messages in case comms are jammed and ships at Lumut at times train to dock under darkness [someone I know recall seeing it be done with the Inderapura – not easy even in the best of times].

  5. I agree with Azlan there. The trip may look like a waste of money but another take on the flight would be an realistic exercise in distance flying between the mainland and their Borneon base. Helicopters like these should be seriously flown, not kept under lock and key for VIP joyrides.

  6. If they wanted to prove something, they should have flown it all the way back from Italy. Just my 2sen.

  7. Why not?
    Having an asset that can be deployable in the east & west side of the pond and a competent crew is a whole lot more cost effective then buying 2 less capable helo that can only operated on either sides.

  8. ”If they wanted to prove something”

    The crew is proud of what they did and nobody should take it away from them with silly sarcastic comments such as flying to Italy. As explained in a previous post it’s not as if flying an asset direct from east to west has no utility. It’s not as if it was a joyride intended for an adrenaline rush. Having the ability to rapidly move things east to west and vice versa with minimal backup is vital and is something we’ve been doing way before we even considered getting AW139s…. In the mid 1980’s we lifted Sibmas ARVs to Sabah and flew them back. I remember someone also saying it was a waste.

    Reminds me of defence apathetic comments by DAP trolls years ago who were quick to jump to the narrative that various things the services did were a waste of money and were purely a PR gimmick…

    ”Just my 2sen.”

  9. Look at this flight as a trainning flight . Not just trainning but proving a point that the heli can perform the job. The planning needed to fly across the ocean / over open water is very important n the preparation for the long transit, the admin n logistic support is invaluable for the TLDM. Nothing like doing something to proof the concept. I must say its a good trainning opportunity. Train as we fight n fight as we train. But very impirtant. The lessons learnt n the process n procedure established must now be written down, internalised n trained for regularly especially due to the limited assets that we have

  10. “nobody should take it away”
    Am not taking anything away. If they flown it to within the chopper’s rated range capabilities, yeah so? Planes do that all the time. Should we celebrate every time someone flies? Kudos to the planners then since they thought up such a route. But how useful will such a tactic be?

    “also saying it was a waste”
    I also recalled someone saying having capability for hauling light arty was pointless.

    @Lee Yoke Meng
    The planners did as they were told, the pilots & crew performed to within their & their chopper’s capabilities. Well done to them. But how useful will it be? You’d only use such tactics during emergencies or there’s no other options. But that amount of planning, preparation & prior trainings just won’t be feasible during such cases or in adverse weathers, so its highly unlikely it would be used.

  11. “Should we celebrate every time someone flies”

    Should we make snide comments about them flying to Italy if they wanted to
    prove something. Long range flights are never easy and the crew is proud of what they did – you however would suggest they’d be better of flying to Italy.

    You make it sound like the RMN allocated a few million just so a RMN team could scale K2 to plant the RMN’s colours at the summit. Reminds me of comments enlightened DAP trolls use to make years ago to pour filth on the armed services for political mileage.

    “But how useful will such a tactic be”..

    How useful will a lot of things be? Ultimately having the ability to move stuff east to east and vice versa is vital as it may come in useful unexpectedly. I have given you examples of various things the RMN does as precautionary measures irrespective of “how useful” they might be.

    That’s what the armed services do : cater for various contingencies. Catering for the possibility that RMN air assets might have to rapidly deploy east to west with minimal or no backup is hardly the public relations waste of money gimmick you erroneously make it out to be. If such an exercise wasn’t “useful” the RMN; which is very careful with utilising its assets; wouldn’t have done it.

    “I also recalled someone saying having capability for hauling light arty was pointless”

    You “recalled” incorrectly. Let me correct you : the ability to airlift arty is useful but only if the needed airframes are available when needed as several sorties will be needed just to lift a single battery, crews and ammo; not to mention the need for additional sorties to restock ammo.

    This is completely different to you erroneously claiming that “someone” said it was “pointless”. If you’re interested in the number of sorties it took to lift and sustain a mere handful of Light Guns in the Falklands; ask and you will receive.

  12. Its a “mission”. The mission being to fly from one side of the country to the other and then participate in a fleet review with other Navy assets for the retiring Chief of Navy. I would say the Fleet Review is probably a waste of money, but the long distance flying is not. Eventually the long distance flying would have been done anyway to verify that it can be done with the new helicopters and to familiarise everyone with the logistics of flying the helicopters between East and West Malaysia.

  13. Oh I’m sorry, I have been very forgetful lately. Remind me who said this again: “With regards to air mobility (I haven’t really (as mentioned on previous occasions) been sold with the idea. Sure it’s a useful capability to have and one that also looks good when mentioned on promotional literature but in reality is dependent on having the needed air assets available for the tasking.”

    I guess I agree with that person that it looks good on practice that we could “do it” but how much is the usefulness is dependent on a lot of things eh.

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