LANGKAWI: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) saw the return of an upgraded Nuri helicopter this morning at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA’17) at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre here.
The Sikorsky S61A-4 aircraft, which is the first in the RMAF’s fleet of Nuri to have its avionics system upgraded from analogue to digital, was handed over by Airod Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Major General (Rtd) Datuk Ibrahim Bahari to RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang, in a ceremony witnessed by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Ibrahim said the upgrade, which was carried out at Airod's facility in Subang, Selangor, involved a technology transfer of an avionics system from its Norway technical partner, Heli-One.
He said the new avionics system equips the Nuri helicopter with digital map and flight instrument, which improves its operational capabilities as well as flight safety.
"The upgrade makes this Nuri helicopter at par with modern aircraft.
"It is also easier and more cost efficient to maintain, compared to when it was using the old analogue system," he said after the ceremony.
Ibrahim added that the upgrade took 11 months.
He said the Armed Forces are going to test the Nuri first, and should they be satisfied with the new system's performance, Airod will start upgrading works on 26 other Nuri in the military's fleet.
He said 15 of the other Nuri waiting to be upgraded are operated by the RMAF, while 11 are by the Army.