KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has yet to receive the government’s decision to buy new assets to replace 12 Nuri helicopters that have been grounded and its services terminated recently.
RMAF Chief, General Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad said, RMAF is still discussing the justification to replace the 52-year-old Nuri helicopters with the Federal Government.
“The Nuri helicopters were at the tail end of its services and were too costly to maintain besides it takes as long as 18 months to obtain its spare parts.
“RMAF has plans to purchase new aircrafts to replace the Nuri but it is still under evaluation,” Ackbal said in a press conference at the Ministry of Defence here on Tuesday, January 7.
Asked on the budget allocation for RMAF, Ackbal said, the government has approved 50 to 60 percent from the amount proposed and it is considered as a “comfortable” level to continue the air force business.
“RMAF is always careful with its spending and will optimise the operating capacity of the existing assets,” he added.
Before the services were terminated, Nuri helicopters have suffered several crashes and made emergency landings since 1991 including in Sintok, Kedah (2010), Tawau, Sabah (2016) and Butterworth, Penang (2016).
Nuri helicopter had also made an emergency landing at Gubir Camp in Alor Star, Kedah, in August 2019.
Meanwhile, Ackbal also outlined eight main thrusts to sustain RMAF’s effectiveness and this includes the structuring of human resource development; strengthening the maintenance capacities with the cooperation of the defence industry and the operation of the new Sendayan Air Base.
The RMAF Chief also announced the appointment of Mohd. Asghar Khan Goriman Khan as his deputy effective January 7. –Malaysia World News