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SGA14: New rotorcraft requirement for Malaysian law enforcement

5th February 2014 - 10:07 GMT | by Alan Warnes in Sungai Besi

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In accordance with the Malaysian Air Operations Force's (AOF) 2020 roadmap, the force is looking to procure two new rotorcraft types to bolster its response capability, a Malaysian police official has revealed.  

The Police Air Wing regrouped as the AOF in 2012, and since then has released its ‘direction plan’ to reflect challenges that it faces and its role going forward, including the purchase of more aircraft. 

‘We have 29 million people in 13 states across 330,000 square kilometres, with two of them, Sabah and Sarawak, separated from the mainland by the South China Sea,’ Police Commissioner Datuk Wira Salleh Bin Mat Rashid, director of the Department of Internal Security and Public Order, told Shephard ahead of the Singapore Airshow. 

‘We must ensure we have a high-tech AOF to support operations on the ground… We need more light [around 13] and medium weight [8] helicopters to increase the AOF’s response capability.’

He said that the territorial responsibility of the AOF over Sabah and Sarawak means it has a duty to extend its operational range to the islands, while sharing borders with Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand as well as maritime borders with Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam brings its own challenges.

‘This is a kind of road map, which has been tabled and endorsed by the police leadership, to ensure that by 2020 we will be a world class police aviation organisation,’ Sathiya Seelan, AOF’s Deputy Commander of Operations, added. ‘It will give us a clear direction so we can fulfil our objectives.’

When it was originally formed the Police Air Wing also played a major part in policing Malaysian waters, but in 2005 the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency was established to take over that responsibility.

‘The AOF’s strategies had to be redefined – to shift its focus from maritime ops to a more land based aerial law enforcement agency,’ the commissioner continued. ‘In doing that the AOF’s blueprint for 2020 ensures it will become a world class police aviation organisation by the end of the decade.’

Today the AOF flies 20 fixed wing aircraft and ten helicopters at four bases - Sungai Besi, Sabah, Sarawak and Ipoh.

For more on this see Rotorhub magazine

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