skip to main content

Malaysian air force receives two AW139 helicopters on lease

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has taken delivery of two Leonardo AW139 helicopters, which will be operated by the service on lease.

The airframes, which are being leased from the Malaysian company Westar Aviation Services, were received by the service's No 3 Squadron in December 2021, the RMAF said in a statement published via an official social media post on 21 January.

Images accompanying the post indicate that at least one of the aircraft has received RMAF livery, and the airframes are based at the service's Butterworth Air Base.

No 3 Squadron earlier operated the S‐61 A-4 Nuri airframes before the aircraft type was grounded in 2019 because of safety concerns. The RMAF subsequently retired its entire fleet of Nuri helicopters in 2020.

According to the RMAF, the AW139s are being leased on a ‘government operate, company own and maintain' (GOCOM) concept. The arrangement has been made as an interim measure to fulfil operational gaps that have arisen because of the grounding of the Nuris.

At the moment, selected personnel of No 3 Squadron, including eight pilots, are undergoing training with the helicopter type, the RMAF said.

The service is expected to receive the third and fourth leased AW139 airframes from Westar Aviation Services in February and April 2022, respectively.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...