Royal Malaysian Air Force orders 12 Eurocopter EC-725s

Eurocopter Receives Letter Of Acceptance From Defence Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 (Bernama) -- Eurocopter has received a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the Defence Ministry for the supply 12 EC725 helicopters for search and rescue (SAR) missions.

Eurocopter Senior Executive Vice President Philippe Harache said the helicopters, to be operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, are scheduled for initial delivery in 2012, followed by the remainder of this fleet over a period of two years.

Eurocopter received the LOA this morning from Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, he said.

Eurocopter is working together with the government to finalise the contract, including the terms and conditions, he told reporters on the sidelines of Defence Services Asia 2010 here Tuesday.

Eurocopter is a subsidiary of EADS and the world's leading helicopter manufacturer.

"It's a global contract package, which by the way, still has to be signed.

"This morning, the minister said that the Cabinet meeting this Friday should definitely confirm what has been announced today, and detailing the various aspects of this contract," he said.

Harache said the new EC725 will complement and eventually replace the Royal Malaysian Air Force's ageing Sikorsky S-61 helicopter fleet, known as Nuri.

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EC-725 is doing well with that helo which is not cheap (80 millions Euros each for the version used in France); it's the fourth order for this type after Brazil (50 EC725s), Mexico (6 on order) and France (currently operating a fleet of 19 EC725s)
It may well go some way to compensating EC for the loss of the UK SAR-H deal. Nice aircraft but 80 Million Euro a pop! Ludicrous
The Royal Malaysian Air Force placed this order then suspended it about 2 years ago.This happens frequently with Malaysian defence contracts and could happen again.

I`m not suggesting this has anything to do with backhanders,but it would not be the first time with this nation.

The S-61s of the Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia(Malay for Royal Malaysian Air Force )have had safety issues for a long while and there have been a series of fatal crashes involving this helicopter type going back into the 1990s.

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