[Updated] Lumut helicopter crash: Downed HOM helicopter procured in 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: The M503-3 Maritime Operations Helicopter (HOM), one of two helicopters that crashed at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Lumut base today, was a new aircraft procured in 2021.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said the other helicopter, the Fennec M502-6, was procured in 2003.

Speaking at a press conference today, Khaled said the HOM belonged to the 503 Squadron based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and was flown over to participate in the RMN's upcoming 90th anniversary celebration.

He said the HOM had only joined the flypass rehearsal for the event for the first time today.

The Fennec, Khaled said, was participating for the third time today.

"The Fennec had participated in the rehearsal for the third time today while the HOM only joined the rehearsal for the first time. The incident involved 10 officers and all perished.

"Following this, the RMN had established an investigation board joined by the airforce and the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness to help with the investigation," he said at a press conference held at the RMN base in Lumut, Perak.

Khaled also advised the public to refrain from making any speculations on the incident and to wait for the authorities to conduct their investigations.

The two helicopters had collided this morning during the flypass rehearsal.

They were part of seven helicopters participating in the manoeuvre.

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