The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) inaugurated its third helicopter squadron, 503 Squadron, together with RMN Kota Kinabalu Air Station, on 1 July. The latter squadron formally stood up on 4 March 2021. This air station, which kinds a part of the RMN Kota Kinabalu Naval Base will host each 503 Squadron and 601 UAS Squadron, which operates 12 ScanEagle UAVs donated by the US in 2020-21. Shepard Media reported that 503 Squadron will function three Leonardo AW139 maritime operations helicopters, ordered in 2020. Two had been acquired in April and at the moment are operational, whereas a 3rd can be delivered in September.

The acquisition of three AW139 helicopters by the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) on the Jap Fleet Command Headquarters right here will additional improve operational capabilities in sustaining the safety and sovereignty of the nation’s waters. Two of which had been acquired as we speak and one other anticipated in September – would allow enforcement patrols to be carried out along with present belongings to strengthen airspace surveillance in Sabah and Sarawak waters. The acquisition of the AW139 helicopters was made according to the needs of the end-user, particularly the RMN, which is in dire want of Maritime Operations Helicopters (HOM). Squadron 503 can be beneath the command of Kota Kinabalu Naval Air Station (SUKK).


Royal Malaysian Navy Establishes 503rd Squadron AW139 Medium-lift Utility Helicopter

Squadron 503 was set as much as improve the operational effectivity of HOM, aside from performing a number of different key duties, together with monitoring the Malaysian maritime zone, particular forces operations in addition to air and crew coaching. The brand new squadron would additionally carry out secondary duties corresponding to aiding in search and rescue (SAR) operations, medical evacuations, casualties evacuations, in addition to humanitarian help and catastrophe aid missions. For a begin, he stated, a complete of 25 officers and 92 personnel of assorted ranks would function the brand new squadron and be assigned to 4 divisions, particularly aviation security, operations and coaching, administration and logistics, and aerospace engineering.

The AgustaWestland 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 totally different roles, together with VIP/company transport, offshore transport, fireplace preventing, regulation enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, catastrophe aid, and maritime patrol. On 24 September 2018, the USA Air Pressure introduced that the MH-139 (an AW139 variant) had gained a contest to switch the Air Pressure’s Vietnam-era UH-1Ns. The Air Pressure is to purchase as much as 84 MH-139s, with deliveries to begin in fiscal yr 2021. The Air Pressure acquired the primary MH-139A Gray Wolf at Eglin Air Pressure Base on 19 December 2019.