Made-in-Italy copters for Maritime enforcers

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 09 Apr 2008

MILAN: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will buy three AgustaWestland helicopters for surveillance and search and rescue operations.

The AW139 aircraft will be delivered in mid-2010 and based in Kuantan to cover the east coast, Sabah and Sarawak.

AgustaWestland communication manager Geoff Russell said they have agreed to the purchase price and are now finalising the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Russell said the three helicopters would be the first batch of 12 aircraft MMEA would buy from AgustaWestland.

He said the price of each of the helicopters would be based on the equipment and specifications that MMEA had agreed to install onboard the aircraft.

He said AW139 could perform long-range search and rescue operation as well as surveillance operations in Malaysian waters as well as neighbouring countries.

One of the main tasks of the AW139 would be to watch the movement of boats and shipping vessels, particularly those plying the Straits of Malacca.

It is believed the helicopters would also be equipped with radar to provide surveillance in Malaysian waters.

Last November, MMEA took delivery of three Dauphin AS365 N3 from Eurocopter to be used for similar enforcement and search and rescue operations.

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