Selamat Jalan Nuri, Part 2

A Nuri seemed to land on the horizontal tail of an A400M at the Butterworth airbase open day in September 2018.

SHAH ALAM: Selamat Jalan Nuri, Part 2. Remember my story about the tender for wooden crates for Nuri components sometime back? Well the company that won the tender was Azianstocan Sdn Bhd, a company based in Penang.

It appears that the wooden crates had been delivered to the Butterworth airbase and it had been used to store components of the Nuri helicopters of No. 3 Squadron. I mentioned in the story that I assumed the components would be stored at the airbase. I was wrong, the components instead were shipped in a convoy today to Subang airbase where the wooden crates will be kept until the decision was made to dispose off them.

The convoy with the Nuri components lined up at Butterworth airbase prior to their departure to Subang airbase. TUDM picture

From RMAF Facebook page.

KAWAD KONVOI SEMPENA PENGHANTARAN KOMPONEN PESAWAT HELIKOPTER SIKORSKY S61A-4 NURI NO. 3 SKUADRON KE DEPOH MATERIEL UTAMA (DMU) PANGKALAN UDARA SUBANG
BUTTERWORTH, 5 Jul 21 – Pangkalan Udara Butterworth (PU Butterworth) buat julung kalinya telah melaksanakan kawad konvoi bagi penghantaran komponen pesawat helikopter Sikorsky S61A-4 Nuri dari No. 3 Skuadron, Pangkalan Udara Butterworth ke Depoh Materiel Utama (DMU), Pangkalan Udara Subang secara besar-besaran. Kawad konvoi proses penghantaran komponen tersebut melibatkan pergerakan 20 buah kenderaan Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) iaitu lapan ( 8 buah Treller Prime Mover, tiga (3) buah Frontier, tiga (3) buah kenderaan utiliti, dua (2) buah kenderaan 3 Tan, dua (2) buah kenderaan jenis Hilux, sebuah bas TUDM dan sebuah kenderaan SUV Fortuner. Konvoi ini mendapat bantuan penuh dengan tiga (3) buah motosikal pengiring dari Cawang Trafik, Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM). Pemindahan komponen pesawat helikopter ini adalah untuk pelaksanaan proses Preservation dan Long Term Storage Pesawat Nuri sementara menunggu proses pelupusan secara rasminya.
Pelaksanaan pemindahan komponen pesawat melibatkan enam (6) pegawai dan 88 anggota Lain-lain Pangkat (LLP) yang diketuai oleh Mejar Narmiazrul bin Abdul Rahman TUDM, Ketua Flait Kejuruteraan No. 3 Skuadron dan diiringi oleh Kapten Shazmi bin Hilmi TUDM, Ketua Fleet Kenderaan PU Butterworth yang juga selaku Ketua Pergerakan Konvoi. Pergerakan ini turut diiringi anggota bersenjata daripada Skuadron 214 HANDAU, PU Butterworth bagi memastikan keselamatan aset TUDM sepanjang perjalanan.
Peristiwa bersejarah ini diabadikan dengan pelepasan kumpulan kawad konvoi oleh Komander PU Butterworth, Brigedier Jeneral Shaiful Azuar bin Ariffin TUDM serta turut disaksikan oleh pegawai-pegawai eksekutif pangkalan di samping pematuhan mengikut Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) yang telah ditetapkan oleh Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia (KKM) dan Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) bagi mencegah penularan wabak Covid-19. Konvoi berlepas pada jam 8.30 pagi dan selamat tiba di DMU, PU Subang pada jam 2.30 petang
Pihak pengurusan tertinggi PU Butterworth turut menzahirkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan ucapan terima kasih kepada semua pihak yang terlibat secara langsung dan tidak langsung yang telah menjayakan proses pemindahan komponen pesawat Nuri ke DMU, PU Subang dengan teratur dan lancar.

Butterworth airbase commander Brigadier Shaiful Azuar Ariffin (right) saluting the airmen and escorts of the convoy. Note the Nuri behind them, it is likely an Army one as most of the RMAF machines remained in the original green camouflage. TUDM

From the pictures of the convoy, we can ascertained that only components that could fit in the wooden crates were sent for storage to Subang. It is likely that the Nuri airframes remained in Butterworth even the ones transferred to the Army (as can be seen from the picture above).

Two Nuri helicopters peforming their displays at LIMA 19 opening ceremony.

It is unclear when and if the RMAF will conduct an official retirement ceremony for the Nuri. With the leasing tender to be decided soon it may well have to do one in the near future. Check out my video on the Nuri below.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

12 Comments

  1. I think to reduce cost,the best thing the army can afford is cvilian spec of any heli be it the cougar..black hawk..AW139…NH90…etc etc…and have a handful of military spec heli only for special duties …

    Reply
    Some helicopters are not available in commercial specs especially when buying them new like the Blackhawks and the NH90.
    The problem with getting commercial helicopters are that they are not supposed to be armed or even fitted with defensive aids, flares etc. The OEM will refuse to certify them and we have to do it ourselves without any support from them. Easier said than done really especially when we don’t have any companies manufacturing such equipment so we can bypassed the OEM like the Israelis

  2. My guess that at best; the most the army can afford is 8-12 helis and that they will all be equipped to a certain standard. Even if cash were available for more platforms; manpower and infrastructure would be an issue.

    There is often a very thin or minor distinction between a ‘military spec” heli and a “civilian one”. Take the Cougar operated by the RMAF and those operated by civilian entities : very minor subtle differences between both.

  3. @RedSot
    Certainly we don’t have to go full milspec. Take for instance, a standard US Army config UH-60M (ie military Blackhawk) cost USD $23mil (via Jordan order), however an utility S-70i only cost USD $15mil (via PAF 2019 order).

    From a review, there is virtually no difference between these 2 models; “The new-generation S-70i is basically the same aircraft as the UH-60M that Sikorsky produces for the U.S. military (and the S-70M it sells to international military customers), with some minor differences in customer-specific equipment, including a simplified engine inlet and exhaust design, and a radio package that is more suited to civilian needs.”

    Which is why I push hard for us to get off-the-production-line S-70i. Its the best bang for buck and a real worthy successor to our long served Nuris.

    Reply
    The S-70i is a mil spec helicopter. It is cheaper as it doesn’t have some of the US Army equipment on it which could be fitted on it if the customer wants it. These equipment will need to be fitted in the Sikorsky factory in the US – as with the six Brunei S-70Is – as the Polish factory is not authorised to fit them. This is also what happened when a customer orders the Sea Hawk through a commercial contract and not through the FMS process.

  4. Ummm what about Pavehawk as fully kitted Csar for about 8 units and additional 4 units standard h225/h225m for RMAF or all 12 Pavehawk (Yes i knew we cant afford it,just dreaming here =) )..Nuri replacement for PUTD is kinda tricky for me at least cuz well obviously im not an expert..Might as well go for all h225m/h215m for PUTD though..But still long way to go tbh..

  5. Firdaus – “Ummm what about Pavehawk as fully kitted Csar for about 8 units”

    We can buy 35 CSAR equipped platforms but we just don’t have the key enablers in the event we have to perform CSAR in a high threat contested environment.

    Firdaus – “Nuri replacement for PUTD is kinda tricky”

    Ideally the RMAF and army would operate a common platform to simplify training/support requirements. Some will also point that there we should create a “Joint Helicopter” arrangement to maximise on the limited resources available but that level of “jointness” is still beyond us.

    Firdaus – “well go for all h225m/h215m for PUTD”

    On paper yes but does the army prefer the Cougar or has it set its eyes on something else? For that matter how does the RMAF feel about more Cougars after the problems encountered some years ago? Perhaps Marhalim will comment on this.

    Reply
    Yes I was told earlier that there was some concerns over the 725/H225Ms but it seems to have gone away at the moment. Things may change though

  6. Better choose helicopter that suite for both air force n army purposes n for navy as well too..

  7. Ideally all the Forces branches should commonise to a single platform, however to do that such a chopper would have been available for all the roles required. As since H225 doesn’t have a ASW variant yet, such limitation would exclude its selection from TLDM roles. That’s why ideally the Blackhawk platform, in its variants, could cover the wants & needs of ATM, TUDM, & TLDM.

  8. True but i kinda feel and suspect that the navy will opt for AW helicopters for their future air wing like the 3 AW139 for MUH..Possibly they will select AW159 wildcat as the new ASW Heli in the future..And we cant afford the military version of s92 right?

  9. Far – “Better choose helicopter that suite for both air force n army purposes n for navy as well too”

    On paper yes; in reality no …

    The RMN’s requirements call for something slightly different.

    Firdaus – “..Possibly they will select AW159 wildcat as the new ASW Heli in the future”

    This issue has been discussed in depth …. The Wildcat offers commonality with Lynx but it simply doesn’t have the range, endurance and lift capacity needed for ASW which is time intensive and able to fly some distance, maintain station for some time and be able to carry torps, sonobuoys and a dipping sonar.

    Attempts to push a ASW configured Cougar haven gone far; this the likely contender – money is the issue – is the S-70. Ending up with Wildcat would enable an extremely limited ASW capability.

  10. Unless we are willing to pay for integration, there is little incentive for the European makes to develop a new ASW chopper from their stables. Ask AW and they will direct you to either Wildcat or Merlin. Ask Airbus Heli and they will direct you to NH90 or Panther.

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