24 Maret 2017
Upgraded Nuri helicopter (photo : NST)
Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri helicopter
On 23 March, the third day of the LIMA 2017 exhibition in Langkawi, Airod formally delivered to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) its proof-of-concept Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri helicopter with upgraded avionics. The Nuri upgrade is in progress, with Hawk and Hercules upgrades awaiting contract award too.
An Airod representative told Shephard that the first aircraft took 11 months to complete, which was two months ahead of schedule. The upgrade of each succeeding aircraft should take about five months.
Airod is contracted to upgrade 14 additional Nuri helicopters. The avionics upgrade should grant the fleet an extra 15 years of life, which is ambitious considering that the fleet entered RMAF service way back in the 1960s.
Airod, assisted by Universal Avionics and Heli-One, signed an MoU on 20 April 2016 to pave the way for this life extension project. Heli-One assisted Airod with the first aircraft, but the Malaysian company will be responsible for the remaining aircraft.
The upgrade features a single UNS-1Lw Multi-Missions Management System and four EFI-890H advanced flight displays that are night vision goggle-compatible.
Also included are LCR-100 attitude heading reference system sensors, EuroAvionics EuroNav 7 mission computer, DME-4000, DF-938 direction finder, Rockwell Collins NAV-4000, Thommen AC-32 air data computers and RDR-1600 search radar.
Heli-One also supplied a simulator for training use, with conversion training for pilots taking about five days.
BAE Systems Hawk Mk 208 and Hawk Mk 108
A day earlier, on 22 March, Airod signed an MoU with BAE Systems for a proposed Hawk jet upgrade for the RMAF.
The upgrade will incorporate a new radar warning receiver, countermeasure dispensing system, digital video and mission planning system. This will 'ensure the aircraft meets all future operational requirements,' according to BAE Systems and Airod.
Mike Swales, Hawk programme director from BAE Systems, expected a letter of acceptance to be signed within two months.
BAE Systems would be responsible for completing the first aircraft, and then assist Airod with the second. Work on the third aircraft onwards would be done by Airod. Work should be completed within three years.
The RMAF has a dozen Hawk Mk 208 light attack aircraft and six Hawk Mk 108 trainers that were acquired in the 1980s. The upgrade should concentrate on ten Hawk Mk 208s to extend their life by some 15 years.
BAE Systems and Airod had signed a letter of intent for this proposed Hawk upgrade in February 2016.
A third upgrade programme waiting in the wings for Airod concerns the RMAF C-130H Hercules fleet, this project is being undertaken in conjunction with Rockwell Collins.
This will see a wholesale modernisation of the RMAF's 14-strong C-130H fleet, and Rockwell Collins expected a contract to be awarded before the end of 2017.
This upgrade is based on Rockwell Collins' Flight2 system, which will replace 14 analogue gauges on the flight deck with a completely digital system that will save 400kg in weight.
With Airod acting as an approved Lockheed Martin service provider, the company is in prime position to seal this contract. The programme is likely to be done in two batches of seven aircraft, with all work done in Malaysia.