SHAH ALAM: The Army Air Wing has today (February 28, 2022) taken delivery of the six MD530Gs Light Strike Attack Helicopters (LSAH) ordered some seven years ago. The in-country delivery ceremony took place at the Invation Hangar 2 in Subang, a week after the helicopters arrived by sea. The formal acceptance would only be done in October after the final acceptance tests and the helicopters are declared operational.
From Tentera Darat release:
ENAM UNIT PESAWAT MD530G PERKUKUHKAN KETUMBUKAN TEMPUR TDM
SUBANG, 28 Februari 2022 – Ketibaan sebanyak enam unit Helikopter MD530G bakal perkukuhkan ketumbukan tempur Tentera Darat Malaysia (TDM).
Panglima Tentera Darat (PTD), Jeneral Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Zamrose bin Mohd Zain hadir menyaksikan peristiwa bersejarah tersebut di Hangar 2 Invation Aero, Subang pada hari ini.
Pesawat MD530G merupakan pesawat buatan Amerika Syarikat dan dibina oleh MD Helicopter Inc (MDHI) yang dibekalkan oleh Syarikat Halaman Optima Sdn Bhd melalui Syarikat Destini Prima Sdn Bhd.
Terdahulu, helikopter ini telah selamat tiba di Pelabuhan Klang pada 21 Februari 2022 jam 0300 setelah melalui pelayaran panjang selama 31 hari dari Pelabuhan Oakland, Amerika Syarikat pada 20 Januari 2022.
Selain membekal enam buah helikopter, kontrak perolehan ini juga merangkumi program latihan untuk juruterbang dan juruteknik Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat (PUTD). Seramai lapan juruterbang dan sembilan juruteknik telah menghadiri program latihan tersebut di Mesa, Arizona, Amerika Syarikat selama 43 hari bermula pada 26 April hingga 11 Jun 2021.
Pesawat ini juga telah melalui pemeriksaan kefungsian dan keupayaan pesawat. Ia dilakukan demi menentukan kualiti pesawat ini menepati spesifikasi TDM. Pemeriksaan ini merangkumi pemeriksaan fizikal pesawat, pemeriksaan kefungsian/keupayaan pesawat, pemeriksaan fizikal alat ganti, pemeriksaan ‘Flight Training Device’ (FTD) (simulator) dan pemeriksaan fizikal persenjataan pesawat.
Peranan utama helikopter ini adalah sebagai pesawat tempur ringan dan keupayaan kuasa tembakan (firepower) yang dimiliki oleh pesawat ini mampu menggempur kenderaan perisai ringan dan trup infantri pada jarak 500 meter ke tujuh kilometer. Bukan itu sahaja, ketangkasan (agility) yang dimiliki oleh helikopter ini juga membolehkan ianya melaksanakan tugas tinjauan udara.
Perolehan aset sebegini juga sejajar dengan Tonggak Pertama Perintah Ulung Panglima Tentera Darat Ke-28, iaitu; “Kelangsungan Misi dan Kesiagaan” dengan memberi penumpuan kepada peningkatan tahap kesiagaan, kompentensi dan aset TDM.
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It interesting to note that Bernama – the national news agency – quoted Zamrose as saying that three of the helicopters will be based in ESSCOM while the other three in Kluang where the Army Air Wing headquarters is located. Zamrose had previously said that the LSAH will be based at the Kuantan airbase. It is likely that the Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein who was also the minister when the contract was signed seven years ago, had a hand in the change of location. He had said then the helicopters were procured to boost the security of ESSCOM area of operations.
Despite this, I am pretty sure, that the six MD530Gs will initially be stationed at Kluang until they are declared operational this October after the FAT. Only then the helicopters will be stationed in ESSCOM AOR likely in Sandakan where three AW109 LOH of the Army Air Wing are stationed currently. The Army also issued a tender for the procurement of 136 70mm rockets of three types, today, likely for the FAT.
It is also interesting to note that the Army release also mentioned that the MD530Gs were manufactured by MD Helicopter (s) Inc. likely to stop the Malaysian media from stating that they were built by McDonnell Helicopters! (though that did not stop New Straits Times from insisting that MD Helicopters is part of McDonnell Douglas Corp!).
— Malaysian Defence
Does this mean they will standup 883 Squadron?
That was fast! Last week just arrived and today already taken delivery.
Not sure, probably provisional only, until they are declared operational and when JPA approved the perjawatan. Of course in the meantime they can just announced it without getting the full approval
So millions spent to build specific facilities for PUTD in Kuantan will go to waste?
There is no point for the MD530 to be based in kuantan anyway, as it is best employed in the ESSCOM theatre.
Likely the AW139 will be based there.
I’m against the idea of parcelling then out into penny packets. Had they all be based in Kuantan I would have preferred using them as a armed recce/scout asset to work with 4th Mechanised Brigade. Whatever’s in ESSCOM are more patrol/survellaince assets.
Even if none are based at Kuantan the facilities there are still useful in that its the only dedicated AAC facility apart from Kkuang. Hardly a waste of money as it will come in useful when the AAC finally gets trespassers – Kluang is small.
They should buy some of those afghan MD530F for spareparts. MD Helicopters got supply chain problems I read somewhere.
“That was fast! Last week just arrived and today already taken delivery.”
There is a certain vagueness in the term “taken delivery” as to the condition of the item. Just as how ships can be commissioned while sometimes being years away from operational condition. As Marhalim wrote, “formal acceptance would only be done in October after the final acceptance tests and the helicopters are declared operational.”
“procurement of 136 70mm rockets of three types”
Does it includes guided FFAR munitions?
About the change in basing, yeah it reeks of political intervention likely due to what H2O had said during his first stint as Menhan. I’m curious if the bright yellow ID nameplates will remain or not, it looks too obvious on a scout attack.
TDM will not see it that way as it is yet another asset of theirs whether it is used or not. Basing in Kuantan would help TDM to develop their operational playbook and tactics for using the LBs in aiding mechanised infantry units. Basing in other areas would serve other purposes, but no right or wrong where they go really.
Sorry, tiny point but the colour scheme is more beige than green. That would suit more of a savanna or grassland environment rather than Malaysia’s tropical background, IMHO. Needs more green!