Close To Delivery MD530G

The MD530G fitted with the FN Herstal rocket machine gun pod and a Gatling. This is a likely weapon configuration for the LSH.

SHAH ALAM: Close to delivery MD530G. It appears that the MD Helicopter MD530G light scout attack helicopters is close to be delivered. I am basing this on two Twitter posts from a Vertical Mag journalist who was given an opportunity to fly on the helicopters in the last couple of days. He also took videos of the flight.

Dan Parsons wrote on Twitter July 27.

His second posting.

Apart for these two postings, a number of pictures of the MD530Gs undergoing test flights and certification are also floating around, likely taken by soldiers and airmen sent to Mesa, Arizona where MD Helicopters are located.

The cockpit of the MD530G displayed at the HAI Heli-Expo. Similar avionics are probably fitted to the Malaysian Army ones. MD Helicopters.

As previously reported here, Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri said November last year, that the six helicopters are expected to be delivered in June, this year. It is likely that the helicopters will be delivered next month though the exact date is beyond me. Perhaps in time to take part in the Merdeka flypast then?

The MD530G fitted with the FN Herstal rocket machine gun pod and a Gatling. This is a likely weapon configuration for the LSH.

If you want to read more on the MD530G saga go here. There are also a ton of stories in the Malaysian Defence archives since 2016.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1626 Articles
Shah Alam

18 Comments

  1. Welcome home. More than sufficient for the Sulu threat, anti terrorist n piracy ops. Anything is better than nothing n if based around Lahat Datu would strengthen the security of the place immensely

  2. How effective it it will be depends on operational circumstances and having other assets to work alongside it. It’s strength it’s it’s ability to fly very low (providing a small window to be shot at); as well as at night.

    It is light scout helicopter which in addition to being used for the scout/recce role for army units; can also be used as a fast reaction asset and to support SF units. What it can’t do is to be misused as a gunship which it’s not. Hopefully the unit will spend.a lot of time training and refining tactics for night ops.

  3. As was mentioned previously the general will need to go and officiate the acceptance of these units. No doubt would be a nice “working holiday” visiting Arizona particularly Monument Valley & Grand Canyon or the various casinos, but at this time when netizens are chaffing at ministers on working visit overseas while they are stuck at home, I hope our Armed Forces will not follow such misstep like their politician counterparts.

  4. How about all the accusations made by PH regarding the acquisition of these MD530G..

    Reply
    No idea really. But since the contract was allowed to continue during PH administration I am guessing that’s all water under the bridge now

  5. Doesn’t change the fact that instead of dealing with the OEM direct we went via a local agent which sprouted out nowhere. This company later faced issues and had to be replaced by another company – both companies being paid but providing no added value to the end user or taxpayer.

    A telling example of how flawed our procurement system is.

  6. Zek – “Slander and defamation brings more harm than any good.”

    Depends. If it’s politically expedient and the environment is conducive; “slander and defamation” will have the desired effect. Politics after all is a vicious and dirty game.

    On the actual contract;

    – The question is how did the first company get awarded the contract and on what basis? Bear in mind it had no previous experience and hardly any assets to speak of.
    – What actual process did the whole exercise go before it was approved and who pushed it?
    – What was the nature of complains made about the purchase and on what grounds was it later decided to drop it?
    – We can go further and ask who issued the actual requirement for the Little Birds and who wrote the specs? The army BTW did not have a actual requirement for a platform of the weight and size category of the Little Birds.

  7. Are the helicopters definitely going to be based in Sabah?

    Reply
    The Army chief has said that they will be be based in Kuantan, the Army air wing got a new hangar at the air base there. It was supposed to be used by the Nuris but then they got grounded. Actually it will be good for them to be in Kuantan rather than Sabah

  8. Hopefully they will be assigned to conduct the scout/recce role for a specific mechanised unit. Makes more sense than having them in ESSCOM unless of course we want to push the not entirety accurate and simplistic narrative that “firepower” is needed there.

  9. I am hoping eventually, these Little Birds can work in partnership with TUDM Caracals for CSAR ops.

    Reply
    For doing stuff around Kuantan, maybe, other than that the MD530Gs have no legs to do that stuff

  10. “no legs to do that stuff” I guess the reason being based in Kuantan AB is so they are air portable in case they need to be used in other areas as you have mentioned previously:
    “If this is the case, the helicopters could easily be sent to other parts of the country using RMAF’s fleet of C-130s and the Airbus A400Ms transporters.”

  11. We can safely say that the Little Birds will be employed for a variety of roles; in line with their strengths and limitations but their primary use will be as a scout/recce platform (hopefully they are tied in with a particular mechanised unit) and to support SF ops.

    Being able to be airlifted across the country is one thing; their limited range and endurance over the operational area is another completely different thing. What we should never do is to misuse it – it is what it is.

    No direct comparisons of course but how the U.S’s 160th Regiment employs its Little Birds is interesting – in tandem with Blackhawks and Chinooks: each having different roles to play and supplementing each other. Unlike other units aircrews (many Warrant Officers) can spend their whole careers in the same unit; this we can can imagine the wealth of experience and competency.

    As for CSAR; in a situation where we have to operate in a contested high threat environment we simply do not have all the key enablers needed to work alongside CSAR configured platforms. Profound difference between SAR and CSAR: merely having a platform with a FLIR, winch and defensive suite does not automatically provide one with a CSAR capability.

  12. Joe,
    “no legs to do that stuff”
    If I got it right, Marhalim is hinting that the MD530 was not built for a long flight duration. For patrol or loitering tasks especially in ESSCOM is better off handle by the AW109. As Azlan has mentioned, it’s more suited for scout or SF ops. And again, lots of questions on this buy (as per Azlan) have not been seriously asked or answer.

  13. @Ed Liew
    Well it is what it is. Certainly it doesn’t have the necessary ferry range to carry itself until it reaches operational theaters other than its homebase, and therefore has to depend on airlift transporters for that job. Such choppers are more point-to-point whereby it will have a very specific objective upon arrival, typically as gunship support for specific missions.

    Lots of question but neither sides seem incline to find the answers or make it public if they knew, so as Marhalim mentioned “that’s all water under the bridge now”.

  14. Whether it has the range to get to where it has to get to in its own legs depends wholly on the operational context and planning.
    We only have to observe Little Bird ops conducted by the Americans, Afghans and Filipinos to get an idea of how we’d operate them and the circumstances in which their limited range and endurance doesn’t necessarily have to be a hindrance.

    Depending on the context even a Flanker with drop tanks might not have the range and endurance.

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