PETALING JAYA: Malaysian pilots flying the Sukhoi 30 MKM
aircraft will be
using the Indian version flight helmet. Russian Federal Service Military co-operation director Mikhail Dimitriev said the Royal Malaysian Air Force had decided to use the
Indian Air Force version of the helmet.
“We understand the weight issue for the Malaysian flyers and the Indian
Air Force SU30MKI helmet suits their requirements,” he told reporters at
the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2006 exhibition in Subang yesterday.
It was learnt that the RMAF was looking at the French MSA Gallet LA100
flight helmet and Ulmer ECT-76VD oxygen mask as standard equipment for
the 18 SU-30MKMs when they come on line in the middle of this year.
The aircraft deal, valued at RM3.42 billion, includes weapons, support
equipment and a new avionics suite from Thales. The French flight helmet and oxygen mask combination, however, is not the only contender as the RMAF is looking at several options but sources say the French combination is in the lead after it was picked to replace the Russian Zsh-7AP/KM34DII sets used by the RMAF’s MiG-29N fleet. In 2004, the RMAF complained that the Russian equipment was too heavy. In a high-G environment, the Zsh-7, which weighs 2.3kg, exerted
tremendous load on the neck and spine. Add a helmet-mounted sight (HMS)
and the helmet weighs a neck-snapping 4.8kg. Targeting with the HMS on the Zsh-7 was also a problem as the helmet tends to “pull away” because of the high-G loads experienced during air combat manoeuvres.”