Monday, November 29

RMAF to terminate service of Nuri helicopters

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This fi le picture shows a Nuri helicopter makes a demonstration at TUDM exhibiton show at the Kuching Air Base on Oct 27, 2018. — Bernama photo

SUBANG JAYA: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be terminating the service of all Nuri helicopters within five years, said RMAF chief Gen Tan Sri Ackbal Abdul Samad.

He said the helicopter service was phased out over the age of Nuri which has served more than 52 years and are obsolete as most of the components and spare parts are no longer in production.

“The government has decided to terminate Nuri because the cost of maintaining the helicopter is getting higher which made it difficult for RMAF to continue its operations.

“Age factor as well as challenges in terms of maintenance have resulted in higher aircraft costs and longer aircraft downtime when damage occurs,” he said in a press conference after the RMAF Excellence Awards Ceremony 2020 at Subang Air Base near here yesterday.

He said for Nuri’s replacement, a local open tender for helicopter rental which was opened on Oct 15, closed Thursday.

Ackbal said the next process is to evaluate the tender before deciding which local company will be awarded.

Meanwhile, he said RMAF will acquire the Fighter Lead-In Trainer / Light Combat Aircarft (FLIT / LCA) aircraft within the next three years.

He said in line with RMAF Capability Development Plan 2055 (CAP55), the air force planned to procure 36 aircraft (FLIT / LCA) in phases, depending on the government’s approval.

“RMAF needs the FLIT / LCA  as this dual-function single platform aircraft have a balanced capability in performing the roles as fighter pilot training and for various operational missions.

“The RMAF has applied for a budget from the government for the acquisition of 18 aircraft under phase 1 through the registration of new projects 2021 and applications for Phase 2 acquisition for another 18 aircraft in the 13th Malaysia Plan (RMK-13),” he said.

Earlier, the RMAF Excellence Awards Ceremony 2020 was celebrated under new norms following the current Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama