SHAH ALAM: Three MD530Gs helicopters ready. Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri told Parliament today that MD Helicopters had completed the manufacture three out of six MD530G light scout attack helicopters contracted for the Army.
He said the helicopters however has yet to be certified due to the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The certification of the helicopters was supposed to be conducted by this month but had postponed indefinitely due to the travel restrictions.
RMAF’s Directorate of General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA), which certified all government operated aircraft had been given the task of certifying the MD530Gs.
Ismail also said that the three other MD530Gs have yet to be completed though he did not say why. The pandemic is also likely the reason the three other MD530Gs has to be be fully manufactured though MD Helicopters financial difficulties may well also be the reason why. It is also likely the company had not started working on the helicopters due to the hold put on the contract by the previous government.
Ismail told Parliament that the Cabinet had on 18 December, 2019 had approved the resumpition of the MD530G contract.
The minister also told the Parliament that RMAF is planning to retire its three Beechcraft King Air 200T maritime surveillance aircraft in 2024. By that time, he added the King Airs would have been in service for 30 years. RMAF had four King Airs but one was written following a crash in December, 2016.
Ismail said the crash was a classified as a training hazard. The King Airs will be replaced by a new MPA which procurement has been approved by the government, he added.
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