Malaysian maintenance company Airod has been appointed an authorised service centre for Mil Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-171 helicopters and has secured a contract to support Malaysia’s Mi-171 firefighting fleet.

Airod installed Western avionics on all four of the Mi-171s operated by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, including two that were delivered in September.

At the Langkawi air show in December the company signed a contract with the Malaysian government to provide maintenance and logistics service for the four Mi-171s over the next five years.

Airod also signed at the air show a memorandum of understanding with Ulan-Ude Aviation Repair Plant making it an authorised service centre for Mi-171s as well as Mi-8s and Mi-17s.

Airod and Mil’s Ulan-Ude factory have been partnered for several years, offering Malaysia Mi-171s in firefighting and search and rescue (SAR) configurations. Malaysia in 2003 agreed to buy 14 Mi-171s from Ulan-Ude, including four for firefighting and 10 SAR variants that were to be assembled by Airod.

But the acquisition of the 10 SAR aircraft, initially scheduled for delivery to the air force from 2004, has not yet been completed. Airod chief executive Kamil Aziz says the purchase was initially reduced to four or six aircraft and is now on hold pending a decision by the Malaysian government.

Source: Flight International