28 April 2009

Malaysia to Equip Lynx Helicopters with Sea Skua Anti-Ship Missiles

16 Oktober 2001

Sea Skua abti ship missile (photo : Skomer)

The Malaysian navy has ordered Matra BAe Dynamics Sea Skua antiship missiles to equip six AgustaWestland Super Lynx helicopters it has on order.

The navy is meanwhile set to sign a firm contract for six Eurocopter AS555N helicopters to train pilots to operate the Lynxs and is moving forward with plans to acquire more helicopters to equip up to 27 patrol vessels. AgustaWestland also hopes to overturn the selection of the AS555N by the Malaysian army for its light observation/scout helicopter requirement.

The Lynxs, due to be delivered from 2003, will be retrofitted with Sea Skua. It is understood that an initial 10 of the sea skimming missiles - a Lynx can carry up to four - are being procured initially. MBD declines to comment.

Super Lynx of the Royal Malaysia Navy firing Sea Skua during exercise (photo : Militaryphotos)

Malaysia is also formulating its requirement for helicopters to equip the patrol vessels and is thought to be aiming for a final selection within 12 months, to allow deliveries by 2004. Contenders may include the Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite, Sikorsky S-70 Seahawk, Super Lynx, NH Industries NH90 and Eurocopter Cougar.

Malaysia was due for six naval AS555Ns on 13 October during a visit to LIMA 2001 by the French defence minister. Deliveries are set to start in two years' time.

AgustaWestland Asia area sales director Fulvio Maurogiovanni says the manufacturer has received a letter of intent from Malaysia for a pair of A109 Power helicopters for fire-fighting and search and rescue missions. Contract negotiations are due to get underway shortly.

Maurogiovanni believes the manufacturer has a good chance of overturning the army's AS555N selection because the A109 is "100% in compliance with the mission requirement". He adds : "I expect them to re-open discussions." Eurocopter admits there are "some issues" to be resolved in its negotiations with the army regarding the performance of the AS555N in the envisaged role.

Sumber : Flight International

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