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GPEC 2015: AW139s selected by Malaysian government 22nd October 2015 - 9:27 by Beth Maundrill in Kuala Lumpur

GPEC 2015: AW139s selected by Malaysian government 22nd October 2015 - 9:27 by Beth Maundrill in Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysian government and Galaxy Helicopters signed a contract for the delivery and supply of two AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters to the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) Air Wing Unit. The signing took place at the security and special equipment show, GPEC, in Kuala Lumpur in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and Dato Johari Harun, executive chairman of Gading Group, which owns Galaxy Helicopters. The contract is worth 138,990,000 Malaysian Ringgit (US$32.5 million). ‘The two aircraft will be delivered next year,’ according to Harun, ‘We are looking to supply the police force with six AW139s in total and we expect a contract for the next four to be signed next year with deliveries of that lot beginning in 2017.’ The aircraft will accompany the fleet of Airbus Helicopter AS355 N2 and F2 models that are currently in service with the RMP which carry out crime prevention and surveillance duties in the country as well as disaster relief. Earlier in 2015 the Malaysian police force lost one of its aircraft in a fatal accident while the aircraft was attempting to reach flood victims near the Thai border. The RMP also has a fleet of fixed wing aircraft including the Pilatuss PC-6 which is used for border surveillance. While it looks like the final decision has been made by the Malaysian government about future procurement of aircraft, one company is still looking to offer up an alternative to the AgustaWestland choice. Systematic Aviation Services (SAS) was present at GPEC and is aiming to promote their MRO services as well as looking to tap into the police requirement with the Bell 429, according to a company spokesperson. The company has three Bell helicopters on offer including the 429 and two Bell 407s. The company is currently in talks with an unnamed Indonesian customer regarding one of its 407 aircraft. Currently SAS already has a relationship with the Malaysian Police as it carries out maintenance services on the AS355. The firm also supplies the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) with maintenance services for its fleet of AW139 helicopters. – Rotorhub