Royal Malaysian Air Force Receives Two Leonardo AW139 Helicopters On Lease
The Royal Malaysian Air Drive (RMAF) has taken supply of two Leonardo AW139 helicopters, which might be operated by the service on lease. It is usually in search of to lease one other 4 comparable medium-lift, utility helicopters, early subsequent 12 months. This took place after the grounding and eventual phasing out of the Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri fleet in January final 12 months, which had been a mainstay and workhorse for the RMAF for over 50 years. The airframes, that are being leased from the Malaysian firm Westar Aviation Companies, have been acquired by the service’s No 3 Squadron in December 2021, the RMAF mentioned in a press release revealed through an official social media publish on 21 January.
All 4 helicopters will function from the RMAF’s No 3 Squadron based mostly at Butterworth, Penang. The transfer was a short-term, stop-gap resolution in its long-term plan to finally purchase a fleet of 24 new helicopters with combat-search and rescue capabilities. The Royal Malaysian Air Drive have already got a fleet of 12 Eurocopter EC-725 Caracals (now known as Airbus Helicopters H225M) that have been procured in 2012. RMAF plan is to have a complete of 36 such new helicopters to kind three squadrons, including that extra helicopters could also be leased if required, for the subsequent 5 years.
The 4 AW139 have been leased from Weststar Aviation Companies and have been based mostly on the RMAF Butterworth base in Penang. It’s learnt that Weststar Aviation Companies has despatched a full complement of spares and upkeep companies, together with technical and engineering crew, to Butterworth as a part of the Authorities-Operates-Firm-Owns and Maintains lease deal. The helicopters painted within the gray Royal Malaysian Air Drive livery on the Weststar Aviation Companies hangar in Kertih, Terengganu and anticipated to be handed over to the RMAF. Weststar Aviation Companies Sdn Bhd is a non-scheduled airline firm based mostly in Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and subsidiary of Weststar Group.
The AW139 is a 15-seat medium-sized twin-engined helicopter developed and constructed by AgustaWestland (now a part of Leonardo). It’s marketed at a number of completely different roles, together with VIP/company transport, offshore transport, hearth preventing, regulation enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, catastrophe aid, and maritime patrol. The three Royal Malaysian Navy Leonardo AW139 Maritime Utility Helicopter additionally might be in service. The primary two helicopters and its related tools are anticipated to be shipped from Italy between 17 December, 2021 and twenty eighth February, 2022. The second AW139 is anticipated to be delivered on Might 2023 and the third one on 28 February 2024.
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