Sunday, April 15, 2018

Royal Malaysian Navy RMN 501 Squadron flies with Leonardo AW159 Wildcat on sidelines of Defence Services Asia 2018

Photo credit: Leonardo

The Royal Malaysian Navy's Super Lynx unit, 501 Skuadron, has seen the Leonardo AW159 Wildcat helicopter up close as part of the shop window presented by arms manufacturers to the Malaysian Armed Forces as the Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition gets underway in Kuala Lumpur (KL) from Monday (16 April'18).

European defence company, Leonardo, announced that flight demonstrations flown by AW159 Wildcats were held last week at the RMN base in Lumut, and at Leonardo's facility in Subang.

The helicopters were flown by Britain's 847 Naval Air Squadron, which has a detachment embarked aboard the French Navy's helicopter assault ship, FS Dixmude (L9015). The warship arrived at Port Klang on Friday escorted by the French Navy frigate, FS Surcouf (F711), for a four-day port visit. The warships, which have some 500 personnel aboard, are part of the French Navy's five-month long deployment, codenamed Jeanne d'Arc, to the Middle East and Pacific Rim.

The Royal Navy's 847 Naval Air Squadron is part of the United Kingdom’s Commando Helicopter Force based at Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton and operate the Army variant of the AW159 Wildcat. Leonardo described the British Army’s variant of the AW159 Wildcat as "almost identical to the Royal Navy variant with the only major equipment differences being the Army aircraft do not have the Seaspray 7000E series AESA radar or weapon carriers".

Malaysia is the first country to operate the Super Lynx 300. In 1999, Malaysia selected the naval helicopters (previously designated as the AgustaWestland Mk.100) as replacements for its ageing Westland Wasp helicopters. Five Super Lynx helicopters were delivered to Malaysia in 2003, with  the ceremonial handover for the last bird held on 19 July 2004 on the sidelines of the Farnborough Airshow. This followed integration trials in Britain with the Sea Skua anti-ship missile system.

Activities leading up to DSA 2018 are due to kick off today, with a press conference chaired by Chief of Defence Force, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, and Ministry of Defence Secretary General, Dato’ Sri Abdul Rahim bin Mohamad, at the show's new venue in KL.

Photo credit: Leonardo

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