Tender To Maintain RMN’s AW139s

RMN Leonardo AW139 MOH/MUH flying over Vergiate, Italy. RMN

SHAH ALAM: Tender to maintain RMN AW139s. Back in April, Malaysian Defence posted about the contract for the three Leonardo AW139s Maritime Operations Helicopter (MOH/MUH) procured for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). Two of the helicopters are already operational while the third one is expected to be delivered next month to the naval air wing located at Kota Kinabalu RMN base.Galaxy Aerospace (M) Sdn Bhd is the winner of the contract worth RM228 million

One of the two RMN AW139 -M503-2. RMN

It appears that the helicopters were procured without a maintenance contract as the Defence Ministry has issued a slew of request for bids on August 5, 2022, for the routine maintenance for the two operational AW139s. It is likely another set of RFBs will be issued for the third helicopter once it is delivered and declared operational.
RMN chief Admiral Reza Sany and Rear Admiral Beng with one of the Leonardo AW139 MUH/MOH of RMN at KK Naval base on May 26, 2022. RMN

This was not surprising to me at least, as I was told a long time ago that such maintenance contracts would greatly increase the cost of the initial procurement. It is also likely the reason for doing this isn’t just about the cost but more towards ensuring that the support and maintenance programmes are awarded to local companies. Like Airod, ATSC and Boustead. And there is also the direct procurement agents which buys the spare parts for the maintenance providers.
RMAF EC725 helicopters undergoing maintenance work at BHIC Aeroservices hangar in Subang. BHIC Aero

Giving local companies the work, became more essential in the late 2000s as the OEMs were muscling in as they would also want part of the lucrative maintenance work. To overcome the local company ruling, OEMs like Airbus and Naval Group set-up joint-ventures with Boustead for the submarine and helicopters work.
One of RMAF leased AW139 flying at Butterworth airbase on February 10. Mindef

Anyhow, the routine maintenance tenders (when required) for both the two MUH/MOH, are for the avionics; engines; airframes; helicopter weighing; magnetic compass swing; oil analysis and batteries. Much of the work will need to be done at the air wing facility though others could be done at outside location as the magnetic compass swing. This would be done at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport according to the publicly available tender documents.
The two RMN AW139 MUH flying over Vergiate, Italy.

As for the RFB is open for listing for seven days only, I am guessing that they already have one or two companies in mind. The number of companies able to bid is also limited as they must already be certified by RMAF’s Directorate General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA) and also certified by the OEMs.
RMAF DGTA director general Brig Gen Nordin Abdul Ghani representing the certificates to Skn 503. DGTA

DGTA (see picture above) issued the Certificate of Registration (CoR), Malaysian State Type Certificate (MSTC) and Special Flight Permit to the AW139 squadron, Skuadron 503, which allowed the helicopters to operate from July 1, 2022.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. That is one way for them to save money on procurement cost (OPEX). Also maintenance cost will come from another pocket (OPEX) so rather than frontload the OPEX, they split the costing between both. As long as it is not mission critical stuff, such tactics usually work.

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