SHAH ALAM: As hinted in my post about the miniguns, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today confirmed that RMAF is getting Sikorsky S-70A Blackhawk helicopters from Brunei.
He did not revealed how many Blackhawks but sources told Malaysian Defence it will be four. The four S-70A Blackhawks were delivered to Royal Brunei Air Force in 1999 and currently operated by the 4th Squadron. The helicopters are very similar to the two VIP Blackhawks operated by RMAF apart from the VIP trimmings of course.
The helicopters are expected to be transferred to Malaysia by September, according to a press release issued by the Defence Minister office in Kuala Lumpur. The minister is on a three day working visit to Sabah. He is expected to oversee a firepower demonstration conducted by the 10th Para Brigade, the Army Air Wing and RMAF at Tawau. Several of the newly delivered Gempita 25mm IFV is also expected to be demonstrated during the event.
RBAF is receiving up to 12 of the latest generation S-70i Blackhawks and it is believed this prompted Malaysia to ask the Sultan of Brunei to gift them to the Malaysian Armed Forces following the incursion in Lahad Datu.
It is now expected the M134D mini-guns procured late last year will be mounted on these donated Blackhawks rather than the A109s!
Hishammudin also said there were plans to arm the five EC725 helicopters based in Labuan with 7.62mm machine guns. Nuri helicopters operating in the ESSCOM zone are now fitted with 12.7mm HMGs.
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