Royal Brunei Air Force retires Bo105 fleet

Royal Brunei Air Force retires Bo105 fleet

8-Feb-2022 Source: Royal Brunei Air Force

The Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) has retired its entire fleet of MBB Bolkow 105 helicopters after 41 years of service in a ceremony held at the Air Movement Centre (AMC), Rimba Air Force Base. The ceremony of the retirement of the fleet, which had been operated under No. 1 Wing, Operations Group, was attended by officers and personnel of RBAirF, most of whom has served with Bolkow 105.

Present as the Guest of Honour was Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohammad Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim, the Commander of RBAirF. The ceremony started with a speech delivered by the Guest of Honour. The event proceeded with the signing of a replicate of BAF 707: Change of Serviceability Log, which marked the offical retirement of the fleet. The Commander of RBAirF was then presented with a video montage that included a brief history and journey of Bolkow 105 with RBAirF.

MBB Bolkow 105 was a German-made aircraft and first introduced into No. 2 Squadron, Air Wing in 1981 with an initial total of six units in possession. Before the locals took over in 1993, the fleet was fully administered and maintained by REME (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineering), British Army Loan Service.

The helicopter is capable of launching rocket projectiles to ground targets, thus providing air to ground support for ground troops as well as close air support. Equipped with Sura Rocket system, it aims to improve the nation’s defence and organisation’s overall operational readiness and it meets the needs of the armed forces by reducing the risk of collateral damage particularly during combat operations. In 2003, the system was replaced with a new rocket system from Belgium known as Forges De Zeebrugge (FZ Rocket) that travels twice the speed of light and up to 10 kilometres radius.

Bolkow 105 is a versatile, fast and extremely agile helicopter, hence, the callsign “Stinger”. Not only is it known for its significantly small size, the helicopter also became known for its high maneuverability and extraordinary responsiveness where it was often used by the special force to carry out specific tasks and combat operations that required precision and efficiency such as emergency evacuation, sniper shooting and vehicle interdiction.

Most light helicopters have only one engine but the Bolkow 105 has two of them in which it can be operated by a crew of one in a single pilot operation or two pilots. It plays a very important role in search and locate missions, providing air surveillance of land and maritime borders, trooplift and it also carries out tasks that are vital in ensuring maintenance of national security.

The ceremony then continued with the presentation of memento from 12 Squadron and 52 Squadron to the RBAirF and the Commander of RBAirF.

Since its introduction into the service 41 years ago, a total of 36 pilots have served with Bolkow 105 and the entire fleet clocked a total of 32,000 flying hours. The retirement of MBB Bolkow 105 fleet ceremony was chaired by Acting Squadron Commander No 12 Squadron, Major (U) Mohd Adi Faiz, who maintains his flying currency since 2014 and has clocked a total of 800 flying hours on type.

The ceremony concluded with a tour that showcased pictures of former personnel of 12 Squadron and 52 Squadron and memorial parts of the aircraft followed by a group photo session with the aircrafts and personnel.

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