In 2012 Malaysia Airlines identified the opportunity to provide a new service from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai in India. Malaysia Airlines management had identified the vast growth potential in the Indian routes and was keen to expand in these markets.

Malaysia Airlines’ Operations Dispatch Centre operated with very high frequency (VHF) communications (coverage is only available up to 200 nautical miles off Kuala Lumpur) and satellite communications (SATCOM), which were not available in the B737-800 aircraft fleet they planned to use for these new flights. As a result, it was necessary for the Malaysia Airlines’ Operations Dispatch Centre to have a serviceable high frequency (HF) system for voice communications when the aircraft are flying over the Gulf of Bengal en route to the Indian airports.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) also stipulated that Malaysia Airlines must have a HF communications system at their office in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport before they would issue permission to allow the airline to operate flights on these routes.

Malaysia Airlines completed an internal study to gauge the feasibility for this upgrade. They found that in addition to meeting the DCA requirement to service these proposed new routes, incorporating a HF communications system would also provide a back-up communications solution for other routes within the region. The internal study indicated that it was justifiable to purchase a new HF ground system for this purpose.

The Barrett 2075 1KW HF system was selected for this project. These systems have been developed and installed in airports throughout the world, and are supported by the turnkey network solutions team at Barrett Communications. The team provides a customised solution, which can incorporate existing systems or other communications channels into a singular communications solution which is intuitive to use.

Representatives from Malaysia Airlines visited the Perth facilities to conduct factory acceptance testing and completed basic operator training. Accompanying them were staff from Tactical Communications, Barrett Communication’s exclusive distributor for Malaysia, headed by its sales director, Zakaria Dahili.

Mr Dahili commented: "This visit has provided the client with the surety of a high-quality product coupled with the technical expertise we have come to know of the Barrett product range. It is also an opportunity for our client to meet the installation team and build a relationship with the Barrett training and technical staff and so they are reassured there is support via our office in Malaysia and here in Australia."

Tactical Communications has been actively promoting Barrett Communications HF and VHF products and has been awarded contracts to supply HF radio solutions to many agencies in Malaysia.

Mr Muzani, head of delegation of Malaysia Airlines, was quoted as saying: "We are confident we have made the right selection after having seen the factory operations and testing the system, which worked flawlessly, we are happy indeed to sign off the User Acceptance Certificate."