Malaysia mulling EC725 SAR to replace S-61s

Malaysia plans to replace its S-61 helicopter. Royal Malaysian Air Force chief General, Affendi Buang said that the service is looking at a range of helicopters including the EC725.

However, Buang recently visited Russia to have a closer look at the Yak-130, which is another possible procurement for Malaysia. However, the acquisition of the lightweight aircraft is still not certain.

Malaysia received the first S-61 in 1967. The Eurocopter EC725 is a long-range tactical transport helicopter specially developed to meet a French Air Force requirement for a helicopter for combat search and rescue operations. It made its maiden flight in 2000. The chopper can carry 28 troops or 12 stretchers.

Alternatively, it can carry 5,670 kg of payload internally. External payload capacity is around 4,500 kg.