KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has shortlisted four helicopter makes to replace its ageing S61A4 Sikorsky, better known as the Nuri, fleet.
A defence industry source said physical evaluation for each model would be carried out soon.
He said that the four helicopters were Eurocopter Cougar EC725, Sikorsky S92, Agusta Westlands EH 101, and the Russian-made Mil MI 171.
The helicopter makers participated in a tender at the last Langkawi International Maritime and Air Show.
The Government would initially purchase 12 units of the new helicopters, of which eight would go to the RMAF for the Nuri replacement programme. Four would go to the navy, the source close to the deal said.
“What the RMAF is looking for is not only a carrier helicopter that can carry up to 25 people but one that can also be used for limited combat and search and rescue,” he said.
Meanwhile, in phasing out the Nuri helicopters, he said 17 of the 29 still flyable units would go to the army as utility aircraft.
He said the Nuri, which has a long lifespan, would complement the army's aim of having all three flying platforms; the light observation helicopter, utility helicopter and attack helicopter ready for a full air operation. – Bernama