Malaysia S-61 upgrade gathers pace

MRO firm Heli-One has detailed the upgrades that will be applied to Malaysia’s fleet of Sikorsky S-61 ‘Nuri’ transport helicopters.

Heli-One will perform the initial installation, with Malaysian MRO firm Airod to upgrade the rest of the fleet, says Heli-One in a statement. The upgrade will see the antiquated helicopters receive new displays, a new mission computer, and a new search radar. The upgrade will be compatible with night vision goggles.

Equipment from Universal Avionics, Rockwell Collins, and EuroAvionics feature prominently in the upgrade. The announcement follows an announcement earlier this year between Heli-One and Airod.

Malaysia had planned to remove its aged Nuri fleet from use by 2012, as 89 personnel have been killed in 15 crashes involving the type since it was introduced. However, with the nation having ordered only 12 of a planned 28 Airbus Helicopters EC725s, Kuala Lumpur was forced to prolong the life of the S-61s.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Malaysia’s military has 30 S-61s, with an average age of 41 years. The air force has 28 examples and the army two.

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