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Malaysia plans review of stalled Black Hawk leasing

The Malaysian Army Aviation is currently equipped with two helicopter types: the Agusta A109LOH (background) and the MD Helicopter MD530G (in foreground). The army lacks a medium rotary-wing utility and transport capability. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is planning to review the leasing of four Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk utility helicopters from a private company over delays in delivery of the aircraft.

Speaking to Janes on 9 May during the recently concluded Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2024 exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur, the Chief of the Malaysian Army, General Tan Sri Dato' Muhammad Hafizuddeain bin Jantan, said that the private contractor had requested additional time to deliver the Black Hawks.

“The last communication we have from MINDEF is that the [company] is not yet ready to deliver the aircraft,” Gen Tan said.

It was in May 2023 that MINDEF announced a deal to lease four Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters from Aerotree Defence & Services Sdn Bhd, a Kuala Lumpur-based company. Janes reported that the helicopters were to be leased for five years from November 2023. The contract, worth MYR187 million (USD39.5 million), was awarded for a July 2022 MINDEF tender to lease four medium category utility helicopters.

“Delivery of the helicopters has now been delayed for six months,” Gen Tan said. “We will have a discussion with the company to discuss a new timeline of delivery [for the aircraft]. If there is no progress, we will take necessary action.”

He did not specify what form that action could take. The Malaysian Army had not responded to Janes query for additional details at the time of publication.

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