Malaysian Army to be Equipped with Black Hawk Helicopters
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Army will be equipped with leased medium-lift Black Hawk helicopters seen as a “stop gap” measure in the development of the service’s air wing to replace its Sikorsky S-61A4 “Nuri” helicopters, which has since been grounded due to obsolescence.
The selection of the type was made following the “recommendation and support” from the operators of the Malaysian Army’s Aviation Wing (Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat – PUTD) which has convinced the Defence Ministry to acquire the helicopter type that meets their operational requirements.
“The Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence has informed that the procurement process is only waiting for the Letter of Award,” Army Chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain said at a parade marking the 28th anniversary parade of the Air Wing recently
During the parade, the Army Chief also inaugurated the establishment of the 883 Regiment of the Air Wing. Gen Zamrose went on the say that Black Hawk helicopters are slated to be delivered by May or June this year. He did not specify which variant of the Black Hawk will be acquired.
Malaysia operates two earlier models of the Black Hawk used for VIP transport and liaison duties. The tender issued by the Defence Ministry was for the leasing of four helicopters for Army Aviation’s urgent requirement due to the delay in procurement of new build replacement helicopters following the retirement of the Sikorsky S-61A4 helicopters in 2021.
In the region, Black Hawk helicopter variants from the UH-60A to the S-70 export models are operated by the armed services of Australia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, among others. China operates a sizable number of civilian variants of the S-70. The unit cost of the models – newly built or leased — varies due to differences in specifications, equipment and quantities. –adj/mhi/mgm (Pix: US Army Black Hawk during a joint exercise with the Malaysian Armed Forces. Source: Malaysian Army)