Police Getting New AW139

The PDI ceremony for PDRM latest AW139

SHAH ALAM: Police getting new AW139. As reported previously, the police’s Air Wing AW139 fleet is getting bigger. The Home Ministry in its post on its official Twitter handle on Sept. 21 2018 reported of a pre-delivery inspection ceremony for an AW139 helicopter in Italy.

It is a little bit puzzling though as the Twitter post stated that the PDI ceremony was for the second AW139 for the police. The air wing already has two AW139 – 9M-PMB and 9M-PMC – in service which Malaysian Defence had reported on previously. The latest AW139 should be the Air Wing third AW139.

PDRM Air Wing AW139 9M-PMC taken in Mar. 2017

IGP Fuzi Harun was quoted as saying last March that the force was getting four more AW139s to add to the two already in service.

The police is getting four more AW139s, adding to the two already in service, says IGP Puzi Harun today. One of the four will be delivered this May with the other three to be delivered, in batches, before 2020.

Puzi announced the new addition to the force at the inauguration of the Air Wing’s new airbase at the at Subang airport today (Mar.19, 2018).

9M-PMB on display at LIMA 17

This was not the first time we are left puzzled by the AW139 procurement. This had happened when the police announced the PDI for PMB and PMC back in 2016.

The PDI ceremony for PDRM latest AW139

Anyhow it appears that the air wing is getting six AW139s as reported by Malaysian Defence. It is interesting to note that even KDN and the police are not on the same page when it comes to the assets though I admit this could be the fault of an over-worked social media coordinator.

— Malaysian Defence

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38 Comments

  1. Can anyone enlighten me on why the PDRM needs 6 helicopters the size of the AW139s? What are the specific tasks that others doesn’t do that PDRM needs to use the helicopter of this size

    So now the malaysian government will have 11 AW139 in their books (APMM 3, Bomba 2 and PDRM 6).

  2. It’s a Good thing Police order more AW139. Plus, I think Army should Concidered to buy AW149 or NH-90 for better future Army and Replace The Nuris and AW109.

  3. Agreed with safran. Bit far-fetched but if the air force sold their ec725 to either thailand, singapore or indonesian (which are users or future users of ec725) and buy aw149 together with army is a great option in my opinion.

    The commonality between civil and military in terms of training, maintenance and logistic looks like a good plan.

  4. Well they can continue to do ground run weekly, now with the lonely 3 later with a happy family of 6. Wonder how long until this going to be the next big probe?

  5. The EC 725 gearbox issue are still not resolved. Its a bad buy for the RMAF. Had it gone for Sikorsky or EH 101 would be better

    Reply
    Actually it has otherwise RSAF would not have signed the contract.

  6. Off topic – Just saw the PASKAL trailer. If the navy can assist them with everything from submarines to Tun Sharifah Rodziah, they could have provided some blank rounds. The recoilless, animated rifle fire is a real spoiler.

  7. @ marhalim

    There is actually no permanent solutions yet for the gearbox issue, and the latest is casualty of the gearbox design is the recent crash of korean MUH-1 marineon version of the surion, which is basically a korean built version of the puma. As of now there is only the reduced TBO of the planetary gears, that is why oil and gas operators are abandoning the super puma, as they have no trust in that temporary solution.

    This can both be a curse or a blessing for the super puma/cougar/caracal. Actually I was surprised that RSAF bought the EC225M, but in a way the Cougar is probably a better bet than the more troublesome NH90, as RSAF is already a current super puma user.

    @m

    IMO the easiest and most cost effective way is to just skip the nuri upgrade and sweep up all those unwanted civilian EC225LPs.

  8. Lee,

    Lets look at what was offered : the Cougar, EH101, Mil-17s [from 2 sources], Chinooks and the S-92.

    The EH101 was cost prohibitive given its 3rd engine, the S-92 was considered ‘untested’ or not yet in military service [Sikorsky did offer to buy back our Nuris if we bought the S-92] , the Chinook was too large [the requirement was for a medium lift platform] and Mil-17s were ruled out due to various factors. That left only the Cougar.

  9. …,
    Surion has nothing to do with the 225. Sharing technology does not mean it is the same. Everything on Surion is custom designed to their liking. And what broke off on the Surion is part of the rotor hub not the MGB, which also custom designed.

    RSAF is not a “Super Puma” user. 225 is totally another beast compared to the older 332 series. But they will have the largest export fleet besides Brazil. In fact we could be benefiting from them as some very interesting development on the 225 may get funded if the Singaporean are interested in it.

    MGB on the S.Puma has no issue apart from the self imposing TBO. Non of the operator has reported any difference in the wear pattern before and after the restriction. OG does not use it because it has no requirement and their Union hates it.

    Many people thought that 225 must be dirt cheap now, but on contrary it is not. Those that has requirement to use a high performance machine cannot resist its high cruise, high power margin, hands off autopilot, auto SAR mode and ultra long range in the right size. And all these are not paper performance. Same goes to black hawk with its notorious low cabin height. S92 is not just even in the picture.

    NH90 is a very high tech build just like the A400M and suffers the same problem due to too many cooks. It is very expensive if the operator is not part of the manufacturing consortium.

    Reusing civil 225s is a sensible move that many stake holders are aligned with the idea. But the coming budget is prioritized to implement Navy’s fast response air wing at east mal, which ideally consist of 6 armed light twins that can carry 4-6 infantry. And the second concern is the civil/mil export license conversion is worth the effort compare to just buy new ones.

  10. As of now, getting additional helicopters is not a priority for the RMAF. With the Cougars and the Nuris it has [and taking into account the RMN, army and MMEA has its own helis – all of which contribute towards mercy flights and disaster relief]; there are sufficient platforms to meet existing needs.

    Unlike previous years when the plan was to get Cougars [24 were requested and the RMAF wanted to focus on SAR and special forces insertion] and for all or most of the Nuris to go to the army; the RMAF is content to have its Nuris upgraded and to continue in service for at least a decade more; especially given that funds for new helis are unlikely to be obtained in the near future and that the RMAF wants to focus on other areas at present.

    In short, unless plans to upgrade the Nuris are cancelled outright [unlikely] or further postponed or funds are obtained for new helis [also unlikely]; the RMAF is in no rush to get additional helis. IMO the service that is in urgent need of helis is the RMN.

  11. As a matter of fact, none of the oil companies wanted the civilian version due to two additional incidents of blade separation n the whole fleet was grounded until recently when that company that had bought the civilian Caracal got another jib. Now they are trying to recall all pilots qualified to fly it.
    The Sikorsky was the best choice as many were ordered overseas for oil rig operations. The UK privatised SAR services are also using the Sikorsky too. Now new presidential Marine 1 are also S 92s

  12. @AM
    As a rule, movie making don’t use real guns as props. Proper gun props (like in Hollywood) are design to mimic the functions of real guns but much more safety built in to prevent real firing or injuries to user.

  13. If the EC725/H225 haven’t been confirmed fully resolved, why should we endanger our Armed Forces lives just because of the choppers bargain basement prices?

    Sikorsky are known to make reliable choppers and IMHO why not we go for Blackhawks/Seahawks instead? Brunei was about to sell us some…

  14. Lee – ”The Sikorsky was the best choice as many were ordered overseas for oil rig operations.”

    In the period when the Cougars were ordered; not many S-92s were in service and there were no military users. We also have no idea as to how the S-92 compared to Cougar as per the RMAF’s technical requirements. Note that I’m not suggesting the Cougar was the ideal choice but that the S-92 also may not necessarily have been the most ideal or ”best” [as you put it] choice. We can also argue that the ”best” choice would have been the Merlin/EH101 but it may have been a wee too big for the RMAF’s requirements and the 3rd engine superfluous for its needs.

    Lee – ”The UK privatised SAR services are also using the Sikorsky too.”

    Bristow is using S-92s and AW189s.

    Reply
    RTAF has 3 S-92s in the VIP role

  15. joe “As a rule, movie making don’t use real guns as props. ”

    There’s a growing number of films with an emphasis on realism, but I can’t confirm they all use functional weapons and blanks. It might defeat the point because blast and flash effects still have to be digitally enhanced.

    Everyone does it, but this was done rather lazily with Paskal.

  16. … – ”If the navy wants more light twins, buy more fennecs/ twin ecureuils, and install bench/fast rope STCs to carry PASKALs externally.”

    I would be very surprised if the RMN actually has a present requirement for a light platform. As it is there have been instances where the Lynxs have been found wanting in terms of cabin space/lift capacity. As far as I know the immediate requirement is for ASW configured platforms to operate from the LCS’s but if these platforms are fitted with a dipping sonar; there won’t be room internally for anything else.

  17. The only thing is civilian operators wallop their heli with more than 100 hours every month as compared to say half that time for the RMAF. Thats the safety for now

  18. …,
    Fennec was never navy’s choice. It supposed to be a stop gap for more twins that are capable of automatic armament and carry 6-8 pax. But budget constraint forced the deal and they made full use of it.

    Fennec is fine as a battlefield transporter in its 6 sit config. But that is not the Navy wants.

  19. Lee – ‘thats the safety for now’

    Yes but one can counter that and say that unlike military operators; civilian operators usually operate their platforms in more benign conditions; i.e. they don’t operate over mountainous terrain in bad weather with limited ATC coverage, they don’t perform tactical flying, they don’t have to land in LZs which are cramped or are in areas which are hard to access, etc.

    I’m not disparaging civilian operators, they fly many more hours compared to military counterparts and many are ex military but one can’t make a direct comparison as the circumstances differ.

  20. @ azlan

    I have no insider info like m, but this chatter of more light twin for TLDM is probably has to do with the approval to double the size of PASKAL force. For me, a special force like PASKAL needs low profile transports, that can blend with civilian flight operations. IMO fennecs/ twin ecureuils is ideal, the external bench is designed for quick release in 5 minutes, and painted externally like a random civilian helicopter.

    http://avia-dejavu.net/images/PH-HHJ.JPG

  21. @ azlan

    ” Yes but one can counter that and say that unlike military operators; civilian operators usually operate their platforms in more benign conditions; i.e. they don’t operate over mountainous terrain in bad weather with limited ATC coverage, they don’t perform tactical flying, they don’t have to land in LZs which are cramped or are in areas which are hard to access, etc. ”

    Nope, they fly in all weathers daily, mostly over salt water. Try to land on a tiny oil platform in high winds with salt spray. Most pilots say they actually need to still fly the helicopters on the deck due to high winds. Each oil and gas heli usually fly more in a year than military helicopters fly in 10.

    @ m

    So in your opinion what is ideal? something like the philippines is using with the AW109?

  22. Azlan,
    Unfortunately you are not quite getting the industry right. Civilian pilots are usually much better than mil pilot except for certain individual. OG pilot with SAR scope has twice or more hours on the simulator alone.

    …,
    Ideally of course they want the Wildcat. But their budget at best getting the 145 or even a grade lower the 429 or the 135. 145 is the ideal compromise, 429 and 135 is the bottom line. 109,119 or 550 is not in the picture. And most important is they are not looking for bolt on weaponry like the LUH.

  23. …. – ”a special force like PASKAL needs low profile transports, that can blend with civilian flight operations.”

    Maybe, maybe not. Depends. There will be times when it makes no difference as to how PASKAL gets to Point A to B, whether in a Lynx or a bright red double decker bus with Ronal McDonald on its sides. What’s important is the mode of transport has the lift/space capacity to lift ‘X’ number of men plus their equipment. Should there be a scenario where a covert means of transport is desirable, there are civilian options on hands for that particular insertion.

    … – ”IMO fennecs/ twin ecureuils is ideal”

    Depending on the loadout. There have been occasions where the Lynx’s lift capacity has been an issue when there is a need to rapidly transport men.

    … – ”Each oil and gas heli usually fly more in a year than military helicopters fly in 10.”

    I’m not disputing that, I did mention that in my post and I didn’t imply they don’t fly in bad weather.

    … – ”Try to land on a tiny oil platform in high winds with salt spray.”

    Try to land an a LZ barely big enough to fit a Nuri; one with strong crosswinds and heavy vegetation. In parts of Sabah where helicopters still deliver supplies to army detachments, there is limited or weak ATC and it involves flying over rough terrain; plus the weather can often take a turn for the worst at short notice.

    In case of emergency at night or in bad weather; which do you reckon is harder : landing a well lit landing spot on a rig or a a very narrow LZ in the jungle with the only lighting being from the helicopter and torches held by troops on the ground. Another difference is that O&G heli crews tend to fly the same routes which are also of shorter duration that the multitude of tasking that military counterparts are required to perform.

  24. RMN’s priorities would be shipboard helicopters for ASW and utility roles. As pointed out, the Lynx’s payload and space margins are modest and the same would apply to the Fennec.

    “this chatter of more light twin for TLDM is probably has to do with the approval to double the size of PASKAL force.”

    If our next ASW turned out to be MH-60Rs (and there are good reasons for this over the Lynx) and a shipboard utility helicopter was also required, it would also make sense for these to be MH-60S’s. They would serve well for shipboard SOF.

    Otherwise, we would do well to rely on the Cougars for SOF lift, which is what they are intended for.

    I doubt the navy would be interested in more light twins.

  25. m – ”Unfortunately you are not quite getting the industry right. Civilian pilots are usually much better than mil pilot except for certain individual. ”

    I don’t see anything ”unfortunate”. It is me ” not quite getting the industry right” [to quote you] or you not properly reading or understanding what I said before replying. I categorically stated that civil pilots fly much more hours and many are ex military. I also did say that a direct comparison is not possible as the operational circumstances faced by both differ. I did not mention or hint that civil pilots were inferior in skill or other areas when compared to their military counter parts.

  26. Actually the OG service routes are not short. Depending on the location of the rigs each one way can be for 100+km. The crucial factor is actually the strain on the gearbox. This stress can come from many sources. Flying hours is one. Another is ferrying heavy loads. OG helis are required to ferry not just workers but replenishments n spare parts urgently needed too.
    Extended hovering is another.

  27. AM,
    AWS is out of question at least until 2020. And LCS is not going to make the case for it.

    Azlan,
    Unfortunately you again did not get it. Being on simulator twice or more hours means that OG pilot gets to train more on extreme condition. Each hour simulator session is capable of repeating the extreme condition up to 12 times. And rig at 300 nm offshore is no less challenge than anything on the land side. OG SAR does winching 3 wet 3 dry per week CONSISTENTLY. Thats just so much you can do with a helicopter and OG operator is really not doing anything less than Mil pilot except going for war.

    Most of the commercial pilot started their career as commercial pilot.Mil pilot is really not any particularly demanded in the market neither do their airmanship particularly standout against civil pilot with same years of experience.

  28. AM – ”Otherwise, we would do well to rely on the Cougars for SOF lift, which is what they are intended for.”

    Yes but at short notice this might be an issue because a request will have to be made to the RMAF and it will also depend on whether the needed Cougars are available for that tasking at short notice. Ideally the RMN would have its own assets for the job. There has been an occasion where men had to be air lifted at short notice but space limitations with the Lynx became an issue. Nothing is written in stone and anything can happen but under the new leadership I really doubt that we’ll buy American to fulfill the RMN’s helo requirement.

    Despite sharing the same heritage and certain components the Wildcat is a very different aircraft compared to the Mk300s. Sure it has certain limitations/penalties [like everything] but it seems the ideal choice, assuming of course funding is allocated.

  29. @ m

    ” Ideally of course they want the Wildcat. But their budget at best getting the 145 or even a grade lower the 429 or the 135. 145 is the ideal compromise, 429 and 135 is the bottom line. 109,119 or 550 is not in the picture. And most important is they are not looking for bolt on weaponry like the LUH. ”

    If 145 is chosen then we will be only the 2nd navy to use them. Aussie navy uses the 429, and 135 for training.

    IMO there is a small difference in performance between 429/135 and 109/119/550. I think additional 550/355 to add to the existing fleet will be the best compromise, freeing/saving funds to acquire the much needed ASW helicopters later for the GOWIND LCS frigates. 2020 is just 2 years away.

    @ azlan

    ” Despite sharing the same heritage and certain components the Wildcat is a very different aircraft compared to the Mk300s. ”

    Those flat boom and nose surfaces are just cosmetic, and most differences like avionics can be refitted. The whole powertrain is the same.

  30. m – ”Unfortunately you again did not get it.”

    Me or you? Do you even understand the point I’m trying to make?

    I appreciate [as always] the clarification but again : a direct comparison between a civil pilot flying O&G ops and a military pilot can’t be made due to certain factors. Both operate under different operational circumstances, both do slightly different things. As such the question of which is better or which performs more demanding tasks should not arise. Yes civil pilots accumulate more hours and by virtue of that tend to be more experienced but nobody’s disputing that. Also, I may not be fully familiar with what a civil O&G pilots goes through but I’m aware [albeit on the surface] of what their job entails and the needed skill and experience they gain and need for their demanding job.

    m – ‘Most of the commercial pilot started their career as commercial pilot”

    Most yes but not all; of course ex RMAF pilots tend to be the minority. I do know of a ex Nuri pilot who has been flying in the co pilot’s seat for a number of years now on the east coast.

    Lee – ”OG helis are required to ferry not just workers but replenishments n spare parts urgently needed too.”

    And MEDEVAC.

  31. … – ”Those flat boom and nose surfaces are just cosmetic, and most differences like avionics can be refitted. The whole powertrain is the same.”

    As I mentioned before : ”Despite sharing the same heritage and certain components the Wildcat is a very different aircraft compared to the Mk300s”. We’ve had this discussion before; more than once if memory serves me well. There was a detailed article I read about it somewhere back. I think it was AFM.

    ”Those flat boom and nose surfaces” actually result in improvements in flight [less drag, smaller RCS, etc] and other areas – hardly ”just cosmetic”….. The avionics fit is a generation ahead of the Mk300 and refitting it on older Mk300s [whilst on paper feasible – like many things] might not be practical due to costs, technical or other issues, plus the power supply [a major issue on the Lynx] has been improved.

    There is also a host of the improvements performed on the Wildcat; which RN crew members spoke about in the article. They also emphasised that the Wildcat is a major improvement over legacy Lynxs previously operated. Yes I’m fully aware the powerplant is the same. We were the first to operate it although Oman ordered it before us.

  32. Azlan,
    You need to read before shot.

    …,
    What navy wants is a an assault ship with integrated weaponry and capable of inserting Commandos.

    This is inline with the 5 FOBs concept and this first requirement is specifically tailored for ESSCOM. Both Wildcat and 145M qualifies but of course one has more power and roomier than the other. The rest, non has OEM integrated weaponry, which apparently is a huge turn off to the decision maker and trading off range/endurance for load is not really attracting the tactical staff either.

    This requirement has to do with AWS. Navy prefers dedicated platform for AWS purpose.

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