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Airborne Special Mission Asia2nd-3rd July 2013Jakarta, Indonesia
Civil ISR International16th-17th July 2013Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK
Offshore / Onshore Aviation2nd-3rd September 2013Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia’s Police AOF – one of the most diverse Police Aviation Units
The Malaysian Police Air Wing has been renamed the Air Operations Force (AOF), to reflect its increasing stature. With a fleet of 20 fixed wing and ten helicopters, based at four facilities it is tasked with a wide range of duties, rather than just policing. As the AOF’s Deputy Commander of Operations, ACP Sathiya Seelan explained to TANGENT LINK:
“We now play a more meaningful role in the security of Malaysia. A future Direction Plan, a kind of road map, has been tabled and endorsed by the Police Leadership, to ensure that by 2020 we will be a world class police aviation organisation. It will give us a clear direction so we can fulfil our objectives”.
The AOF’s fleet of aircraft is dispersed between the HQ and Peninsula Base at RMAF Base Sungai Besi with12 fixed wing aircraft and six helicopters; Sabah Base, Kota Kinabalu International Airport hosts two fixed wing and two helicopters; Sarawak Base, Kuching International Airport has two fixed wing and two helicopters while the Training Base at Ipoh Airport uses four Cessna 172SPs.
Its inventory comprises two AS355F2s, eight AS355Ns, three Beech King Air 300s (of five ordered), four Cessna 172SPs, six Cessna 208 Caravans and five PC-6 Turbo Porters.
Two King Air 350s ordered in September 2008 are currently in Witchita, Kansas having their Telephonics RDR-1500B airborne search and surveillance radar system enhanced for sea search operations installed. This will bring a new more sophisticated mission to the AOF that it has never experienced before. Observers are currently being trained as mission operators in Kansas. The aircraft are likely to be delivered before the end of the year. The delay in delivery has arisen because the AOF originally selected Raytheon as the radar for these Beech 300s, but Hawker Pacific raised an objection.
Three of the AS355Ns have recently been fitted with Wescam MX-15s that came in very useful during the recent civilian unrest in Malaysia.
The AOF has a unique mix of roles, which many Police aviation units would be hard pressed to cope with. Maritime patrol, anti-smuggling, training pilots, surveillance, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), tracking illegal immigrants, Bodevac, Medevac, air transport, flood relief, co-ordinating with other branches – are a number of the roles carried out, 24 hours a day.
Photo: Malaysia’s Police Air Operations Force is now flying twenty fixed wing aircraft and ten helicopters, which includes eight AS 355N Ecureils. This example is seen at the AOF’s main hub at Sungai Besi on May 18, 2012. Alan Warnes