New Serial Numbers

One of the four leased RMAFAW139 likely with the tail number M104-02. Mindef

SHAH ALAM: New serial numbers. It appears that the newly delivered Leonardo AW139 helicopters have been assigned the standard registration numbers for leased aircraft, the M1++ series. The latest pictures of the helicopters revealed that their tail numbers are M104-01; M104-2 and M104-3. The fourth aircraft once delivered from Weststar Aviation Sdn Bhd will take the number M104-04.

The third AW139 flying at Butterworth airbase on February 10. Mindef

The tail numbers were revealed when the Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein visited Butterworth airbase on February 10. The pictures from the ministry and RMAF did not show the tail numbers clearly but it was the media that revealed them.
For the record, the two leased Super King Air 350s from Aerotree Sdn Bhd carried the tail number M101-01 and M101-2. The leased Learjet from Aerotree for target towing carries the tail number M102-01. The five Airbus Helicopters EC120Bs leased for flight training at the Alor Setar airbase in Kedah carries the serial numbers M103-01 to -05.
RMAF Super King Air 350 M101-01

From the AW139 post

RMAF has quietly took delivery of two Leonardo AW139 medium twin engine helicopters to replace the now retired Nuri fleet. The helicopters -leased from Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd – according to the RMAF was delivered to the No.3 Squadron at Butterworth on December 4 last year.

The delivery was revealed when RMAF chief Gen. Ackbal Samad visited the Butterworth airbase on Jan.22 which was published in RMAF Facebook page. Two more AW139s will be delivered to the squadron on Feb. 22 and April 22, according to the same posting. The helicopters are leased from Weststar following a tender for them in 2020. The helicopters are operated by RMAF under the Government Operate, Company Owned and Maintained Concept (GOCOM). Weststar operates some 34 AW139 helicopters, it has been reported, likely one of the biggest fleet in the world. It has excess helicopters following the collapse of oil price around 2014 which resulted in most of its clients using boats to transfer the personnel to oil platforms instead of helicopters.

Aerotree Learjet which used for target towing. Note the serial number M102-01. Aerotree

It will be interesting to see the tail numbers for the other AW139 helicopters to be leased for the NTF and the Army.
EC120B M103-05 at the Airbus Helicopter hangar in 2017.

— Malaysian Defence.

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About Marhalim Abas 2186 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. When h20 say it a short term measurement. I guess this short term will be 10 years time. Our neighborhood from top, left, right and bottom all still can have a big shopping mode while we internally still struggling for all aspects. I personally think our LCA requirements might need go higher than original like Gripen level while our MRCA may go for stealth type ofcz alldepend what we have in our pocket.

  2. Temporary only. Its a win-win for both Weststar in utilising their spare capacity choppers, and perhaps the Government getting a good deal out of it.

    But for permanent Im hoping they would standardise either S-70i or S-92. Both platforms are versatile to meet all 3 services needs.

  3. Michael – guess this short term will be 10 years time

    Remains to be seen. Some things are considered more impotent than others and can be easier

    Michael – while our MRCA may go for stealth type

    The more accurate and correct term is ”low observable”. The more commonly applied ”stealth”term five-star a,different meaning.

  4. @ Taib

    There are reports that the USMC is in negotiation to get those ex-Kuwaiti Hornets.

    “Kuwait cannot sell the legacy Hornets to another country without the prior approval of the US Navy,” according to Hashim. “There are reports that the US Marines command appears to be interested in acquiring the Kuwait fleet of Hornets, and negotiations were underway between the two sides.”

  5. @DW
    I doubt USMC wants old 2nd hand legacy Hornets, they have no need for parts or airframe as they are still getting brand new SH from production line and at the same time transitioning to F-35.

  6. @joe

    USMC ceased all legacy Hornets operations and migrated fully to F-35B Lightnings. They didn’t even buy the Super Hornets. So far only US Navy, Australia and Kuwait operates Super Hornets.

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