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LIMA 2023: Malaysia to lease four Black Hawks

The Malaysian Army Aviation's leasing of Sikorsky UH-60s is expected to allow it to partially restore the airborne capability of one of its aviation regiments. This is a representational photo from ‘RIMPAC' 2016. (Australian Defence Force)

The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced a deal to lease four Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters.

MINDEF made its announcement on 25 May during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held from 23 to 27 May.

According to MINDEF, the helicopters will be leased from Aerotree Defence & Services Sdn Bhd. This Kuala Lumpur-based company states on its website that it provides “defence-related training and services”. The helicopters will be used for the Malaysian Army. The contract has a value of MYR187 million (USD40.4 million), according to MINDEF.

A Malaysian Army spokesperson told Janes that the helicopters will be leased for a period of five years. “The first two aircraft will enter service in October. The remaining two will be delivered in early 2024,” the spokesperson said.

The announcement follows a tender that was issued in July 2022 to lease “four medium category utility helicopters”.

According to the army, the aircraft will join the Malaysian Army Aviation's (Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat: PUTD's) 882nd Regiment Nucleus team. Janes data states that this unit is based at Mahkota Camp in Kluang Airport in Johor. The army told Janes that Regiment 882 was equipped with 12 Sikorsky S-61 Nuri helicopters in 2015. The unit lost its aviation capability with the grounding of the Nuri fleet in 2019.

In its announcement on 25 May, MINDEF said that the helicopters will “function as a platform to the Nucleus Team for the purpose of training and operational flight duty”.

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