The three Royal Malaysian Navy Leonardo AW139 Maritime Utility Helicopter (Maritime Operations Helicopter, MOH) will be in service. Malaysian defense blog Malaysia Defence reported that a delegation from the Defence Ministry, RMN and the other officials visited Leonardo Helicopters in Vergiate, Italy on November 10. The visit was part of the Project Management Review conducted ahead of the pre-delivery inspection set to take place soon. Earlier this year, Royal Malaysian Navy Chief Admiral Reza Sany stated that the contract for the new helicopters had been signed on 20 September 2020.
The delivery schedule of the Maritime Operations Helicopter was revealed in an advertisement for a MTO tender to deliver the helicopters and maritime mission equipment from Port Savona, Italy to the RMN naval base in Teluk Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu. The first two helicopters and its associated equipment are expected to be shipped from Italy between 17 December, 2021 and 28th February, 2022. The second AW139 is expected to be delivered on May 2023 and the third one on 28 February 2024. Royal Malaysian Navy is looking to buy another batch of MUH in RMK12 together with a batch of anti-submarine helicopters though the chief did not revealed any numbers.
The AW139M is a military version of the AW139 – has been designed to perform a wide range of missions, day and night, in the most challenging environments. Operators worldwide benefit from advanced technology, high power margins and inherent high levels of safety and survivability. The largest cabin in its class maximises operational flexibility and can be equipped with dedicated role equipment, including optional internal and external weapon systems. Spectrum of missions including Battlefield Support, Tactical Troop Transport, Logistics Support, Threat Suppression, Fire Support, Command and Control, Medical Evacuation and Personnel Recovery, Search and Rescue, Combat Search and Rescue, Maritime Patrol and Homeland Security.
The AgustaWestland AW139 is a 15-seat medium-sized twin-engined helicopter developed and built by AgustaWestland (now part of Leonardo). It is marketed at several different roles, including VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport, fire fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief, and maritime patrol. The AW139 was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, being redesignated AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project. The AW139 has been subsequently developed into the enlarged medium-lift military-orientated AW149.