The Malaysian police force is looking to acquire eight additional helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft.

Industry sources say the police informed manufacturers attending last month’s DSA 2006 show in Kuala Lumpur that it has been allocated 600 million ringgitt ($165 million) in Malaysia’s new five-year budget, fully meeting its request for 15 aircraft.

A request for proposals is expected to be issued within the next few months.

The police force operates several Eurocopter AS355 Squirrels on surveillance and patrol missions, but has been looking to introduce medium-sized 10-seat helicopters to transport SWAT teams and bolster its anti-terrorist capability. The AgustaWestland AW139, Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and Sikorsky S-76 will probably be evaluated. Sources say the force plans to acquire six of the new type plus two more four- to five-seat light twin-engined helicopters.

The Malaysian police is also looking to bolster its fixed-wing fleet, which includes several Pilatus PC-6s and Cessna Caravans, for transport and patrol missions, seeking another seven aircraft, but manufacturers say the force will probably require twin-engined aircraft and exclude single-engined models from the competition.

Source: Flight International