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.
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