Tag Archives: Malaysia

C-130 problem highlights militarization Spratly islands

A relatively minor incident with a Taiwanese Lockheed C-130H Hercules on Wednesday 26 May 2015 again puts the focus on the ongoing military and geopolitical play in the South Chinese Sea.

The Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) airlifter landed at Nansha Taiping Island to have officials of the ministries of Defence and Transportation plus the Coast Guard inspect recent upgrades and the modernization of the Zhengjian Taiping Airport runways, navaids and facilities. The airport is small as such, but compared to the size of the island the 4,000 feet long airstrip occupies almost the entire length of the island. A oversized habour is located south of it.

Lift-off back to Taiwan was aborted because of an apparent failure in one of the flaps. But after some mechanical work on the ground, the plane left just before the evening anyway with a five hour delay.

Ongoing tensions
The Herc problem has again put the Spratlys – an archipellago of atolls, islands, islets, cays and reefs in the South Chinese Sea in between the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam – again in the footlight of the ongoing tensions in Asia. Although the Taiping Island in question is officially administered by Taiwan, it is situated 900 miles (1450 km) from the southern tip of the country. Mainland China (630 miles / 1020 km away), the Philippines (290 miles / 480 km), Malaysia (290 miles / 480 km) and Vietnam (380 miles / 610 km) say that the area is theirs as well.

During the last decades the countries have many times faced each other, but so far not with any serious military escalation yet. But as the search for oil and power intensifies with an ever strong mainland China, many wonder for how long the status quo can be maintained.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A RoCAF (Taiwanese) C-130H Hercules landing at Chih Hang AFB in 2013 (Image (CC) Xuán Shǐshēng)

Malaysian Air Force Falcon 900 major upgrade

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF or Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia (TUDM)) sole Falcon 900B VIP jet is a cool lady again. RUAG Aviation in Geneva, Switzerland, finished an an extensive upgrade, done under contract with Malaysia’s Airod Sdn Bhd.

First the RUAG experts put the Falcon 900B through a very thorough inspection of the aircraft and systems (C-check). But the Swiss company was also contracted to update and overhaul the aircraft’s avionics as well as fully renovate the cabin. And all in a relatively short time frame of a few months to rotate the jet back into service with the RMAF.

Check out our complete ↑ Overview: Air Forces of Malaysia

RUAG Aviation installed a new Honeywell Ovation cabin management system, their first undertaking of Ovation Select on a Falcon 900. In addition the upgrade also included fitment of innovative electronic dimming window shades from Vision Systems. This was the first such installation on any aircraft worldwide. Further the aircraft upgrade included installation of Airshow 4000 and Satcom 7000 systems as well as a fully renovated cabin interior including new seating and LED lighting.

Although the project was completed in November 2014, RUAG apparently kept things quiet a bit until this week – probably to give the RMAF first a change to put the upgraded Falcon 900B through a proper test phase of its own.

The Falcon 900 is one of the few business jets with three engines in production. It is known for its strong wings. The B-version is a revision of the original jet introduced in 1991. It has better engines and an improved range, compared to its older sister.

Support partner
RUAG Aviation is mostly known as the principal life cycle support partner for the aircraft of the Swiss Air Force. The facility in Geneva is an authorized Service Center for Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Falcon, Embraer, Piaggio and Pilatus as well as Major Service Center for Dornier, Hawker Beechcraft and the DHC-6 Twinotter. RUAG Aviation is also the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the legendary Dornier 228 aircraft.

RMAF VIP fleet
Apart from the Falcon 900B the Royal Malaysian Air Force VIP fleet consists of a Boeing Business Jet 737-700 (prime minister’s flight), an Airbus A319CJ, a Bombardier Global Express 700, a Fokker F.28-1000 Fellowship, two Agusta (Sikorsky) AS-61N VIP helicopters and a pair of Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk choppers. The VIP fleet is primarily located at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah / Subang Air Base in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by RUAG
Featured image: The Royal Malaysian Air Force Falcon 900B undergoing a major upgrade and overhaul in Geneva (Image © RUAG)

The RMAF Falcon 900B cockpit before the modification (Image © RUAG)
The RMAF Falcon 900B cockpit before the modification (Image © RUAG)

The RMAF Falcon 900B with the upgraded cockpit (Image © RUAG)
The RMAF Falcon 900B with the upgraded cockpit (Image © RUAG)
That's is some fancy interior, we at Airheadsfly.com wish we were Malaysian hotshots (Image © RUAG)
That’s is some fancy interior, we at Airheadsfly.com wish we were Malaysian hotshots (Image © RUAG)

MD Helicopters debuts at LIMA15 with famous “Little Bird”

MD Helicopters, known from the “Little Bird” helicopter based on the legendary Hughes 500 design – will debut on this year’s LIMA’15 Maritime and Aerospace event in Langkawi, Malaysia. The contribution was confirmed by Mr. Ahmad Dzuhri, Managing Director of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.

It will give the American manufacturer another opportunity to promote its newest MD 540A. The light attack helicopter has a single engine and is especially handy as a relatively low-cost solution for armed aerial escort, special operations and close air support. Among its standard weaponry are Hellfire missiles, guided rockets, 7.62 mm and .50 caliber machine guns.

OH-6 Cayuse
The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer and other single engine versions of the MD 600N, MD 520N, MD 500E, MD530F and MD 530G. Especially the MD500 series is popular amongst law enforcement agencies in the US. Moreover, the Afghan Air Force ordered 12 new choppers based on the US Army’s OH-6 Cayuse last year plus the weaponization of all 17 MD530Fs in Afghan Air Force service.

In Asia military Defender versions of the type are in use by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the Republic of China Navy (Taiwan).

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, including source information provided by MD Helicopters
Featured image (top): The MD530G in flight (Image © MD Helicopters)

Two dozen new A330s for AirAsia X

An Air Asia X A330-300  (Image P. Masclet / e*m company © Airbus)
An Air Asia X A330-300 (Image P. Masclet / e*m company © Airbus)

It sounds like buying two dozen cans of fish, but here we are talking about BIG ones. Malaysian based AirAsia X has placed a firm order with Airbus for 25 more A330-300s on 19 December 2013. The contract is the largest A330 order received by Airbus in a single purchase agreement and increases the carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 51. These will be supplemented by another six A330-300s leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

AirAsia X will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered A330-300s in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region. The new order includes the latest extended range versions of the A330-300, providing the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop service to destinations in Europe or one-stop service to the US.

AirAsia X currently operates 16 A330-300s on services linking its Kuala Lumpur base to destinations in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. In addition to A330s, the carrier also has 10 A350-XWB aircraft on order for future delivery.

The latest order from AirAsia X further consolidates the position of the AirAsia Group as one of Airbus’s largest airline customers in the world. In total the Group has now ordered 536 aircraft from the manufacturer. These include 475 A320 Family single aisle aircraft for AirAsia’s short haul operations based out of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, plus the 51 A330s and 10 A350 XWBs for AirAsia The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today.

To date, Airbus has won more than 1,280 orders for the various versions of the aircraft. More than 1,000 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with almost 100 operators worldwide.

Source: Airbus

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