UPGRADING NURI A STOPGAP MEASURE
Hisham: It’s to ensure choppers safe and operable until ministry gets new ones
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.
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.