KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will be expediting the process to upgrade and improve Nuri helicopters to ensure its assets are always in tip-top condition and safe.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the measure was to prevent another incident in which a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Nuri helicopter made an emergency landing in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Balung, Tawau in Sabah yesterday.
“I have reminded the Defence Ministry and MAF top leadership before that there will be no compromise on the safety of our personnel and the preparedness of our military assets.
“I also agree with the views of the people that Nuri helicopters which have been in service since 1967 should be replaced with newer assets,” he said in a statement today.
Hishammuddin said RMAF’s helicopter fleet was being boosted with the acquisition of EC 725 helicopters to replace Nuri helicopters in phases, while the existing Nuri helicopters were being upgraded at the same time.
In this regard, Hishammuddin directed the Air Force chief to monitor the development of the helicopter improvement action plan so that it was implemented accordingly.
“I will be getting a special briefing from RMAF on the plan upon my return from a visit abroad next week,” he said.
He added that the ministry was always committed to ensure all country’s defence assets were in excellent condition and there was no compromise on the question of personnel safety when safeguarding the nation’s security.
Yesterday, a RMAF Nuri helicopter made an emergency landing on the roof of a open hall in SMK Balung.
In the incident, 22 people comprising 13 RMAF personnel, eight students and a school cleaner were injured. – BERNAMA