SHAH ALAM: Selamat Jalan Nuri? It appears that the Defence Ministry is looking to lease helicopters to replace the Nuri in service with RMAF and the Army. The Nuris, according to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu are grounded. He said in Parliament on Nov. 27 that although the spare parts were readily available, the helicopters have been involved in various crashes and are quite old.
He said the ministry was expediting the process of leasing the replacement helicopters to allow operations from troop transport and others be conducted, prior to the purchase of buying new helicopters for RMAF.
Mohamad was answering a question from an MP on the status of the fleet following the emergency landing of a Nuri at an army camp near the Malaysian-Thai border last August. Leasing is likely the option for RMAF going forward
For further details read this article on Jane’s
Based on this it is likely that this will effectively means that the Nuri in RMAF service, at least, will be retired, unless of course the government allocated additional funding for the fleet. The decision also put paid to any chance of the upgrade programme for the Nuri of being funded. The Army, which is supported by RMAF to operate its Nuris will also have to look at leasing another helicopter as well.
As the Army is looking to buy assault helicopters in the next RMK, it is likely it will be happy to let go off the Nuri as well. RMAF in its CAP 55 plan had envisioned of having two helicopter squadrons, of one type past 2030.
The proposed leasing contract will also be an opening for MHS Aviation as it has five Airbus H225 helicopters in storage. The helicopters purchased between 2011 and 2013 were put in storage after Petronas terminated the contract for flight services with MHS citing safety concerns following the crash of a H225 in Norway in 2016.
The contract was officially terminated in 2017. MHS had came to an amicable agreement with Petronas and several parties over the contract termination in March, 2018. RMAF as you are aware also operates 12 Airbus H225 helicopters purchased in 2010 following the crash of a Nuri in 2007.
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