UP­GRAD­ING NURI A STOPGAP MEA­SURE

Hisham: It’s to en­sure chop­pers safe and op­er­a­ble un­til min­istry gets new ones

New Straits Times - - News -

SYS­TEM up­grades on the mil­i­tary’s old Nuri he­li­copters only serve as a stopgap mea­sure un­til the De­fence Min­istry gets to in­crease their air­craft ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said the up­grade on the Siko­rsky S61A-4 air­craft’s avion­ics sys­tem, which had been com­pleted on one of 27 Nuri he­li­copters in the armed forces, was to en­sure that the he­li­copters were safe and op­er­a­ble un­til they got new ones.

“This morn­ing, we have re­ceived a Nuri he­li­copter that had its avion­ics up­graded, and I be­lieve this is some­thing that we must be proud of, al­though we know that it might be just a stopgap mea­sure un­til we in­crease our he­li­copter ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“Un­til then, we must have plans to en­sure that our Nuri chop­pers are good for op­er­a­tions and safe to be flown,” he said af­ter a cer­e­mony where 35 agree­ments were signed by the gov­ern­ment dur­ing the Langkawi International Mar­itime and Aero­space 2017 ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima 2017).

Ear­lier, Hisham­mud­din wit­nessed the han­dover of the up­graded Nuri from Airod Sdn Bhd chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ma­jorGen­eral (Rtd) Datuk Ibrahim Ba­hari to Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Gen­eral Datuk Seri Af­fendi Buang.

The up­grade car­ried out by Airod, which worked with its Nor­way tech­ni­cal part­ner, Heli One, was for the avion­ics sys­tems, turn­ing its ana­logue sys­tems to dig­i­tal.

He said the new avion­ics sys­tem saw the Nuri he­li­copter hav­ing a dig­i­tal map dis­play and flight in­stru­ment; which im­proved its op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties as well as pro­vid­ing bet­ter flight safety.

“The up­grade brings this Nuri he­li­copter on par with mod­ern air­craft. It is also eas­ier and more cost-ef­fi­cient to main­tain, com­pared with when it was us­ing the old ana­logue sys­tem,” he said.

He added that the up­grade took 11 months.

Ibrahim said the armed forces were go­ing to test the Nuri first, and should they be sat­is­fied with the new sys­tem’s per­for­mance, Airod would start work on 26 other Nuris in the fleet, in stages.

PIC BY DA­NIAL SAAD

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein (right) with Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Gen­eral Datuk Seri Af­fendi Buang check­ing out the first en­hanced Nuri he­li­copter af­ter the han­dover cer­e­mony at the Langkawi International Mar­itime and Aero­space 2017 ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima 2017) yes­ter­day.

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