25 May 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
The Leonardo tiltrotor AW609 can support various security-centric applications such as cargo carrier, special operations, personnel recovery, and ‘homeland security'. (Leonardo)
Weststar Aviation Services (Weststar), a Malaysian aviation company, has signed an agreement with Leonardo to operate a single AW609 tiltrotor helicopter in the country.
According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 on 24 May, Weststar will operate the aircraft under lease. LIMA is being held from 23 to 27 May in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Janes assesses this could potentially result in future security-related applications for the AW609 by Malaysia. Weststar has established a precedent of leasing its company helicopters to the Malaysian military.
A company spokesperson told Janes during LIMA that Weststar leased four Leonardo AW139s to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in 2021. The leasing was intended to fill a capability gap left by the RMAF's retirement of its Nuri helicopters in 2020, according to information held by Janes .
29 May 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
Malaysia's requirement for new rotary-wing platforms has presented a major opportunity for helicopter manufacturers. Leonardo is promoting its AW149 helicopter as a replacement for Malaysia's grounded Nuri helicopter fleet. (Leonardo)
Leonardo is promoting its AW149 multirole medium helicopter to fill Malaysia's future rotary-wing requirements.
The Malaysian military, especially the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), has suffered a shortfall in helicopter assets since the retirement of the Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri fleet in 2020.
Speaking to Janes during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 in Malaysia, a Leonardo spokesperson said the AW149 is a “possible candidate” to replace Malaysia's existing helicopters. This also includes the company's AW139 helicopter that originally entered production in 2001.
“In Malaysia, we see the AW139 as a filler aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “The AW149, however, is a possible candidate to support Malaysia's future requirements. It is a modern platform that is more capable and more effective than the AW139.” The company added that AW149 is a military helicopter by design.
26 May 2023
by Christopher Petrov & Ben Burnett
The Czech MoD is aiming to participate in the Leopard 2A8 programme, which would represent a considerable leap in capability over the ageing T-72M4 CZ. (IMOD)
The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) will develop plans to address the approaching obsolescence of its main battle tank (MBT), the T-72M4 CZ, Colonel Jan Kerdik, head of Land Forces development division at the Czech Armed Forces, told SAE Media's Future Armoured Vehicles Central and Eastern Europe conference in Prague. The Czech army has now stated its ambition to join the Leopard 2A8 programme.
The Czech Armed Forces, which is estimated to have 30 T-72M4 CZ tanks in service, faces issues with obsolescence in particular components and a desire for modernisation that will push the T-72M4 CZ out of service in the coming years. Previous modernisation efforts announced in 2018 were aimed at delaying obsolescence-related issues only until 2025. Coupled with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there is a strong desire to rearm Czech tank forces.
26 May 2023
by Michael Fabey
Newport News Shipbuilding redelivered aircraft carrier USS George Washington after a ship overhaul. (US Navy)
HII's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division redelivered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to the US Navy (USN) after the shipyard successfully completed the ship's refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH), HII confirmed on 25 May.
“George Washington has gone through a transformation and now returns to the fleet as a fully recapitalised ship for another 25 years,” Todd West, NNS vice-president, In-Service Aircraft Carrier Programs, said in a statement.
A carrier RCOH repairs, upgrades, and modernises nearly every space and system on the ship, including tanks; the hull; shafting; propellers; rudders; piping; ventilation; and electrical, combat, and aviation support systems.
During RCOH, a carrier's two nuclear reactors are defuelled and refuelled, and the ship's propulsion plant is repaired, maintained, and upgraded.
The USN's fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal includes USD1.2 billion for RCOHs to fund advance procurement of long-lead items for the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) with the RCOH scheduled to begin in FY 2025. The FY 2024 request also funds cost to complete for USS John C Stennis
Weststar Aviation Services (Weststar), a Malaysian aviation company, has signed an agreement with Le...
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29 May 2023