Defence Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri told the Senate, Thursday that the acquisition had been registered as a project under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
He said the government was fully aware of the challenges involved in safeguarding ESSZone.
“This is due to the geography of ESSZone which comprises 10 districts, from Kudat to Tawau with a coastline of 1,733 km, 361 islands and a land area of 31,158 sq km, or 42 per cent of the size of Sabah.
“Based on this factor, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) have acknowleged the ability of the attack helicopters to effectively carry out operations in the area,” he said.
Abdul Rahim said this in response to Senator Datuk Jamilah Sulaiman during the question and answer session.
The deputy minister said the cabinet had approved the acquisition of Gatling Guns to complement the procurement of the helicopters as assets for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) to ensure the security of ESSZone.
“The MAF is also in the process of procuring 10 M134D Hybrid Gatling Guns with Weapon Mounting Systems for their Agusta A109 Light Observation Helicopters (LOH),” he said. –BERNAMA