A joint venture (JV) between Malaysian company UA Aerospace and the investment arm of the government of Kedah, Menteri Besar Kedah Incorporated (MBI Kedah), has secured a partnership with China’s biggest defence enterprise, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), it has been revealed to Jane’s .
Foong Peng Hoong, the president of UA Aerospace, said at the 2019 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia on 26 March that under the new partnership UA Aerospace and MBI Kedah will receive technologies and training from AVIC to facilitate the Malaysian production of two major Chinese platforms.
These comprise the Y-12 light transport aircraft, developed by AVIC subsidiary Harbin Aviation Group, and the AC312 light twin-engine civilian helicopter, developed by subsidiary AVICopter. The Y-12 and AC312 have been designed by AVIC for commercial and military applications.
Hoong said that under the new agreement – in which AVIC has been designated “technical partner” – the JV will produce the aircraft in a facility that UA Aerospace is planning to develop in Kedah, with funding support provided by MBI Kedah and technologies and training provided by AVIC. This new facility will be operational by about 2020, he said. UA Aerospace already manufactures aerospace components for the commercial sector.
With collaboration initially focused on the Y-12, the Malaysian-Chinese partnership will produce the aircraft for global customers, said Hoong. Work will initially be geared towards meeting requirements in commercial domains but, he said, could also incorporate the production of aircraft for coastguard and paramilitary operators in the future. The Y-12 could also meet requirements for maritime surveillance, he said.
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