Wooden Crates For Nuri Parts

Nuri M23-29 from No 7 Skuadron flying over the Kota Belud air to ground firing range in 2017.

SHAH ALAM: Wooden crates for Nuri parts. The Defence Ministry has issued a call for quotation for the supply of specialised wooden crates to store the components of Nuri helicopters with the No 3 Skuadron based at the Butterworth airbase.

I said specialised wooden crates as the supplier is supposed to measure the components first before coming up with a number of different wooden crates designs based on the measurements to ensure a perfect fit for them. The Nuri components to be placed in the wooden crates are the tail shaft, tail rotor blades, main rotor blades, tail rotor head, auxiliary servo system, alternating current system and the rescue hoist. The number of wooden crates needed is 42.

Nuri M23-28 from No. & Skuadron which was stripped down to its airframe for relocation from Tawau to Kuching on 1 Sept. 2020. For storing purpose there is no need to take out the engines though. RMAF picture

The wooden crates needed to be lined with a sponge or rubber materials and big ones need to be designed so it can be be lifted by a forklift. Smaller ones need handles for easy moving. The need to move the wooden crates easily indicates that the components could be placed in a permenant storage facility in the airbase or an outside location. Those who want to compete for the job must be quick though as the quotation which opens on February 1, closes on February 8.

A Sea King helicopter stored at the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Centre in the US. This will likely be the configuration of the Nuri once they are put in storage though without the plastic covering as they will likely be placed under a covered hangar. Wikipedia Commons

It must be noted that there is a hangar in the airbase where the retired F-5s are stored with wooden crates stacked around them. The wooden crates are likely where the components are kept similar to the ones being sought for the Nuri. By placing the components in the wooden crates, the Nuri airframes could be stored in a similar arrangement reducing the need for a much larger hangar.

Nuri M23-29 flying over the Kota Belud air to ground firing range in 2017.

As you are aware the Nuri has been grounded for sometime now, since mid-2019 at least. The RMAF has issued a tender to lease their temporary replacements. By the end of RMK12 (2025) a tender for the Nuri replacements will be called (thats the plan currently). If everything goes to plan, a new helicopter type will likely enter RMAF service in 2027 at the earliest.

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

And yes, the end is near for the Nuri, with the call for quotation is just another confirmation of their retirement.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The end of an era.

    For every single dollar we spent on them; we got back in value a thousand times over. It will also probably be the last helicopter with standing headspace the RMAF ever operates.

  2. Why don’t we sell those Mig29s and F5s?

    End user agreements are one of the reasons

  3. Long term storage for TUDM Nuris only? Or does it also covers PUTD Nuris?

    Also thanks for info on TUDM Nuri replacement plan, but its TDM Nuri replacement which should take priority since they are the key user for choppers.

    In due time

  4. @Hasnan
    Its probably due to the current conditions and the wear & tear on them which dissuade prospective buyers.

    In contrast to, say, Aussie & Kuwaiti Hornets and RNZAF MB339s, which were highly sought because of their excellent condition, our legacy planes are well-worn and we could no longer afford to keep up maintaining them in good shape at the end of service usage.

    Like a beaten up used car, surely it would not attract many buyers unless super low selling price with spares.

  5. Hasnan – “Why don’t we sell those Mig29s and F5s?”

    Various reasons. Marhalim mentioned one of them.

    The F-5s, MiGs and Nuris all had plenty of hours left in them when they were retired despite having accumulated ‘x’ respective hours during their service period. All
    were in relatively good condition; albeit needing some form of upgrades/overhauls to continue flying with a new user. The fact that we didn’t sell them was not because they were in bad condition; they weren’t.

    We do have a history of selling used stuff (to private companies : the HK-33s. SLRs, Tebuans, Heralds, etc. Had we bought the S-92 Sikorsky would have accepted the S-61s as part payment. The Russians offered to resell the Fulcrums or accept them as part payment for a few Su-30s. Why the deals fell through is beyond me. Just supposed interest shown by India.

  6. Is it possible to sell them to civvies either for reactivation or as other uses? In UK, RAF have sold decomm choppers that later converts into ingenious glamper. The Army too have sold tanks as strictly off-road recreational vehicles.

    No one here can afford to do run them if sold in flyable condition. Even maintaining them as static exhibits will be very costly as can shown by various aircraft monuments and even at the RMAF museum. And I don’t think many people especially veterans will take kindly if any of the airframes are converted into anything else.

  7. In the UK one can own a T-72, FV342 or a Scimitar. There are laws which enable people to do so and it’s an industry by itself.
    A favourite venue for private owners to get together and showcase their armoured vehicles is Bovington, on the grounds of the tank museum.

    Over here; even if individuals were willing to spend what it takes to keep an armoured vehicle in running condition; legal issues are a problem; one can even get into trouble for painting an ex army Pinzgauer in camo.

    Some retired stuff are rnghtly sought after; some are not. With we retired the F-5s it wasn’t as if there were highly sought after (it’s not the 1980’s or 1990’s anymore); unlike the Nuris which at one point we could have sold easily.

    If we ever intend on selling the Fulcrums we have to be fast
    as less and less users will require them in the coming years. We also have to sell them for the right price as the new owner will have to spend on upgrading them and overhauling the engines.

    Certain things are so high mileage and worn out (but not necessarily in bad condition); like the Condors, PC-7 Mk1s, FACS, Laksamanas and other things that even if we offered them for free; countries would pay us to take them back.

    In the UK the sale of ex military equipment and their usage as civilian vehicles are well regulated. Over here it’s really dicey, AFAIK all vehicles from the military are sold as scrap. Its the same with police and other government vehicles, if they are sold as scrap they cannot be used on public roads.
    But some how throughout the years people have managed to register them as private vehicles even though the RTD regulations strictly forbid the registration of scrapped vehicles as road worthy ones. Everyone knows why this happens though not many people have resorted to it. Its the same with imported vehicles, only those with valid APs can be registered with the RTD but as usual some had managed to do it even without them.

  8. Marhalim,

    I know someone who got an ex army Land Rover (the 1970’s) short wheel base one) up and running. He’s a 4×4 freak and has a policy of never buying new cars; preferring to always buy used and letting others pay for the depreciation.

    Once at a scrap yard near Ipoh he came across the hull of Sibmas; striped of everything. The going price was 20k. I’ve always wondered happened to the Bofors 375mms, the Emerles and the Compacts – stored in Lumut or sold as scrap.

    I’m sure there’s bureaucratic reasons but I see no reason why we shouldn’t offload the Fulcrums. The Russians are willing to act as a broker and it’s not as if we’re planning to reactivate them at a later date or as if their value will rise the longer we store them.

    As for the Nuris; a few years ago there were various interested buyers. Not sure if it’s still the case. I’m assuming off course that U.S. approval won’t be a long and tedious process like with the Skyhawks.

    As I said in your earlier comments if one is willing to go through the hoops to get scrapped vehicles to be registered they can of course. I have not been able to see the Lumut base storage areas so I have no idea whether those things you mentioned are still there.

  9. We store them nicely but its not like we intend to reactivate them for use or even genuinely wanting to sell them off. Otherwise we would have seen RFB/ RFT for interested parties to offload these. Keeping them around eventually just eats up valuable space in highly “secured” bases (which could suffer from thefts making them even less valuable than already is).

    Veteran’s sentimentality is BS, they don’t own them the Government does. If their feelings are so strong, put in money and buy them off the Government’s hands. They should be happy there are creative people with ingenious ideas to repurpose them for other uses. A premium 5star glamp made of choppers-turned-chalets sounds much better than rotting outside in the sun with nobody caring, wouldn’t you think so?

    True but in the current situation I don’t think any chalet project can take off.

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