MUH To Beat LSAH Into Service? Updated

RMN AW139 MUH CGI. Gading Aerospace

SHAH ALAM: MUH to beat LSAH Into Service? IT appears that the three RMN AW139 Maritime Utility Helicopter (MUH) will be in service much sooner than the MD530G Light Scout Attack Helicopter (LSAH). This will be a record of sorts for the Malaysian Armed Forces as the MUH deliveries are expected to be completed by June 2022. Barely 18 months or so after the contract was signed, back in September 20, last year, compared to six years and pending for the LSAH. For more on the LSAH contract back in 2016 and the MUH deal here.

RMN AW139 MUH CGI. Gading Aerospace

The delivery schedule of the MUH was revealed today in an advertisement for a MTO tender to deliver the helicopters and maritime mission equipment from Port Savona, Italy to the RMN naval base in Teluk Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu. The first two helicopters and its associated equipment are expected to be shipped from Italy between 17 December, 2021 and 28th February, 2022.

RMN AW139 MUH CGI. Gading Aerospace

The third helicopter is expected to be shipped from 28 February to 31st May, 2022. The shipping dates meant that Leonardo has given a flexible but firm dates of delivery. This is unlike the MD530G LSAH which was supposed to be delivered two months ago but has now turned into an open date without any firm delivery schedule.

MD530G Block II. MD Helicopters

One would think that the Defence Minister – who signed off the MD530G deal back in 2016 would have announced the delivery date if he and the ministry was confident of the helicopters passing their acceptance tests. This is what we got when we buy a completely new aircraft variant from a small manufacturer without going through the due process and the added guarantee of a government to government deal. Updated: In response to a question in Parliament, the minister said the helicopters will undergo a PDI on November 21, 2021 to ensure they meet all requirements of the Army. The delivery dates will be determined once the checks is complete.

RMN AW139 MUH. Gading Aerospace

As for the quick delivery dates of the AW139 – the RMN chief had stated

“The first helicopter will be delivered on October 20, 2022; second on May 31, 2023 and the third on February 28, 2024.

– it is likely that Leonardo has taken three airframes already in production and made it ours. The three airframes are likely the ones meant for the Italian Air Force which ordered 17 AW139s – designated as HH-139B – which most of it were supposed to be delivered this year. From pictures of the RMN MUH taken by Italian spotters, the helicopter looked the same as the Italian ones lacking only in wire cutters. The other equipment like radios, electro optical turrets and others are likely to be easily switched to our requirements.

An Italian military HH-139A or AW139 equipped with specialised equipment. Wikipedia

Updated on 5 October to add the PDI checks as mentioned in Parliament


— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

5 Comments

  1. Need 3 more MUH and at least 4 new ASW helicopter

    Hopefully we can get those downsized dokdo or Mistral as our MRSS

  2. Akex,

    Those are an overkill for our requirements. We do not require so much deckspace – at the most we need 3 landing spots. Both are also configured more for assault type expeditionary roles.

  3. October is still too soon and smack bang onto USA holiday season. Nov or early Dec is best time for officials to make a trip to Mesa Arizona for the sightsee… err, working visit to accept the choppers.

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