Malaysian Army Aviation
|Malaysian Army Aviation|
|Active||1 July 1994 – present|
|Part of||Malaysian Armed Forces|
|Motto||Gagah Di Angkasa|
The Malaysian Army Aviation (Malay: Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat; PUTD) is the Army Aviation branch of the Malaysian Army. Currently equipped with helicopters in both the liaison and light observation roles, the Malaysian Army plans to equip PUTD with attack helicopters in support of Malaysian Army units.
The PUTD was formed on 1 July 1994 at the Royal Malaysian Air Force helicopter base in Kluang, Johor. The Army Aviation Project Team was formed to oversee the planning and implementation into the formation of an Army Aviation Wing for the Malaysian Army. At the beginning six RMAF Officers and six Army Officers were attached to this Pioneer Team to establish PUTD. They are two pilots is Colonel Stephen Ngiau Tai Kong RMAF (Director of the Project Team), Lieutenant Colonel Hj Ibrahim Bin Hj Hashim RMAF, three air force engineering officers named Major Mohd Asri Bin Hamzah RMAF, Major Norazman Bin Saparon RMAF dan Captain Izaidi Bin Musa RMAF and one air force logistics officer is Major Sarudin Bin Chonil RMAF. Where as another six army officers headed by Lieutenant Colonel Masood Bin Zainal Abidin from RAMD (retired as Deputy Chief of Army with Lieutenant General rank) as Deputy Director, Major Azmi Bin Ariffin from Royal Armoured Corps, Major Idris Bin Mohamad from REMEC, Captain Nazri from KP, Captain Othman Bin Badron from REMEC and Captain Adnan Bin Mat Din from Rejimen Askar Jurutera DiRaja. A combination of expertise from various specialisation that made PUTD where it is today. Malaysia is very proud of them. They are twelve dedicated Officers of Malaysian Armed Forces that become "PIONEER" in this new establishment. New Era of Malaysian Armed Forces with multi tasking especially for the Malaysian Army.
PUTD was started flying operations on 11 March 1995, and 881 Squadron as declared operational, with an initial complement of 10 SA316B Alouette III liaison helicopters that were transferred from RMAF. The Kluang Air base was handed over to PUTD in January 1996. 881 Squadron was declared fully operational on 29 March 1997.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Role of PUTD includes the following :
- Provide tactical support to Army formations
- Light reconnaissance role
- Operate as part of a combined arms team with other Army formations
- Provide limited aerial fire support to army formations
- Anti armour support to Army formations
- Direct fire support
- Attack targets of opportunity
- Tactical transport (limited capability)
- Emergency medevac
- Long range observation and scouting
- In theatre search and rescue
- Attack Helicopters
The Malaysian Army has identified the requirement of an attack helicopter for the PUTD. Several makes have been considered and evaluated, including the Denel Rooivalk, Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow, Agusta A129 Mangusta and the Eurocopter Tigre. Quantity and variety to be purchase unknown.
- Light Observation Helicopters
PUTD has 10 A109 Hirundos in inventory for LOH duties. Can be armed with 20mm gun and/or rockets for area suppression missions.
- Tactical Transport
This remains a responsibility of the Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia, though it is a logical progression that PUTD will be equipped with light and medium utility helicopters in the future.
At the moment Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat has one operational squadron (No. 881 Squadron), though more units are planned.
- 881 Squadron
- No. 881 Squadron was formed in 1995 with 10 SA.316 Alouette III liaison helicopters transferred from the Royal Malaysian Air Force along with a group of pilots. The unit is commanded by a Leftenan Kolonel.
- In 2006, the squadron was strengthened with the delivery of 11 A109 Hirundo Light Observation Helicopters (LOH). 5 of the A109s were delivered in December 2005 with the balance of the delivery made during 2006. Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat becomes the first operator of the A109 LOH in Asia. These helicopters replace the retired SA 316 Alouette III.
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- Australia: Australian Army Aviation
- Germany: German Army Aviation Corps
- United Kingdom: British Army Air Corps
- United States: United States Army Air Forces
- Malaysia Plans to Buy Attack Helicopters (Dec 8)
- A109M Light, Twin-Engine Multipurpose Helicopter, Italy
- 8 December 2005 - First A109 LOH delivered to Malaysia