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AW189 for the Malaysian Coast Guard

The Ministry of Home Affairs of Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding with Galaxy Aerospace Malaysia (M) Sdn Bhd regarding the delivery of 4 AW189 helicopters for the Malaysian Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, the Malaysian Coast Guard (Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia – APMM or Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency – MMEA) announced on its Facebook profile the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Home Affairs of Malaysia and the company Galaxy Aerospace Malaysia (M) Sdn Bhd regarding the delivery of four twin-engine Leonardo AgustaWestland AW189 multi-role helicopters for this organization.

Photo: Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia

The agreement was signed by the Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs, Datuk Haji Ruji bin Haji Ubi, and the Managing Director of Galaxy Aerospace (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, Shamsul Kamar Samsudin. The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution bin Ismail, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, as well as the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr. Abdul Gapar bin Abu Bakr.

The document was signed during the combined DSA 2024 (Defence Services Asia Exhibition & Conference) and NATSEC Asia 2024 (International Exhibition on National Security for Asia), which took place between May 6 and 9 at the MITEC (Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre) in Kuala Lumpur.

The acting Director General of the Malaysian Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Datuk Saiful Lizan bin Ibrahim, said that the acquisition of AW189 helicopters aims to meet the needs for improved broader aerial surveillance, as well as conducting long-term and long-distance Carilamat operations (the local term for search and rescue, SAR, missions).

He stated that these tasks are currently carried out by six aircraft, including two AW139 helicopters, three AS365 N3 Dauphin helicopters, and a Bombardier CL-415 MP firefighting aircraft (last year, one AW139 with the registration number M72-01 was lost in an accident). They are stationed at Kuala Lumpur’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport.

Vice Admiral Datuk Saiful Lizan bin Ibrahim explained that the decision was made to purchase helicopters worth nearly 530 million MYR (113.2 million USD) from Leonardo Helicopters because the main engines can operate without fuel for 50 minutes in an emergency situation and the helicopter is equipped with an additional power generator.

He then noted that the AW189 is the most successful super-medium category helicopter in the world in terms of market size, number of operators, and the ability to perform various tasks, including SAR, disaster relief, firefighting, law enforcement, and in the energy sector.

Earlier, Datuk Saiful Lizan bin Ibrahim informed that the APMM expects the delivery of the helicopters in 2025/2026, which will be deployed to Sandakan in Sabah, on the northeastern coast of Borneo.

The AW189 is a civilian variant of the AW149 helicopter, capable of carrying 19 passengers with a flight range of 900 km. It was launched in February 2014, and so far, Leonardo Helicopters has delivered over 80 units (out of more than 100 ordered) to civilian and government users in 13 countries: Australia, Denmark, China, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The only military users will be Egypt and Nigeria. In Malaysia, these helicopters were delivered to the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia, JBPM) in December 2018, and Weststar Aviation ordered two units.

Some components of the AW189 are manufactured at PZL-Świdnik.


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