Replacement Bone Domes for AW139 Crews

The AW139 helicopter crew and UTK team which took part in the demonstration at LIMA 2023. Note only the two quarter masters are wearing the flight helmets.

SHAH ALAM: Back in 2015/2016, the government signed the contract to procure six Leonardo AW139 helicopters for the police’s Air Wing. The six helicopters have since been delivered though one crashed in Tawau in February 2020.

It is likely the helicopter- 9M-PMC – was declared a total loss as she has not been recorded flying since then. Anyhow, the Home Ministry on January 10 2024, issued a request for bids to supply flight helmets (bone dome) for AW139 crews. The tender closes on January 31.

A quarter master of a AW139 during a patrol to oversee the flooding in the East Coast. As this was not a tactical operation, the quarter master is not wearing a flight helmet, just a headset so he can communicate with the flight crew.

In the specifications page, it was stated that the number of flight helmets being sought was one hundred units. The flight helmets, among others, should be:

Petender perlu menyatakan jenis bahan Flight Helmet (BoneDome) yang ditawarkan. Ciri-ciri bahan yang dibekalkan hendaklah tahan lasak,ringan, selesa dan sesuai digunakan untuk tujuan penerbangan sebagai contoh diperbuat daripada gabungan bahan yang ringan seperti Kevlar dan Carbon Fibre,
atau bahan konstruksi modern composite shell yang ringan tetapi kukuh. Sila kemukakan sebarang dokumen teknikal/laporan, pengilang/laporan makmal bagi
menyokong kenyataan.
Petender perlu menyatakan pilihan warna Flight Helmet Bone Dome yang boleh dibekalkan. Keutamaan akan diberikan kepada warna Hitam
Kusam (Black Matte), Biru, Putih, Kuning, Merah atau Oren. Warna muktamad akan dipilih kemudian oleh Penggunaaan Petender.
Boleh digunakan untuk operasi NVG, di mana tapak pemasangan set NVG
tersedia

Two UTK personnel jumping off AW139 during this year’s Hari Polis. Note the quartermaster in the orange jumpsuit and blue flight helmet.

The estimate cost for the RFB is RM1.2 million. It is interesting to note that number of flight helmets being sought – 100 – is a big batch compared to the number of helicopters they have.
Another quartermaster with a flight helmet during the flight to drop off parachutist for 2023 Hari Polis celebration.

Even if they have two crews each for the five AW139s in service – two pilots and two quarter masters – they will have an excess of around sixty brand new flight helmets.
A PDRM Ecureiul helicopter demonstrating an assault scenario. Note that the quarter master is using a flight helmet while the two pilots are using headsets only.

It must be noted from pictures posted by PDRM on the AW139, only the two quartermasters – used the flight helmets – during tactical operations. The pilots just used the headsets even for such operations. Perhaps the pilots used the flight helmets for night flying so they can use night vision goggles (NVG). This is the same for the Airbus Ecureuil helicopters, the pilots used headsets only while the single quarter master used the flight helmets during tactical operations, demonstrations or otherwise.
PDRM AW139 9M-PMF, the sixth helicopter procured from the contract signed in 2015/2016. PDRM

I am assuming that when the new flight helmets are delivered, the AW139 pilots will also use flight helmets – during tactical operations and while flying at night using NVGs.
Another angle of the Ecureiul demonstration pilot. Note the headset on the pilot.

It is for this reason I also believed that the five helicopters to be bought under the 2024 budget will also be AW139s as well.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. Why need so much?

    Because human heads comes in different sizes. So need to buy to cater with all possible sizes.

    What i would do is not to buy 100 helmets of various sizes outright, but to have 100 helmets prepaid for and each would only be gotten for any new pilot/crew tailored to their specific head sizes.

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