June 2021 MD503G Delivery Date

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

SHAH ALAM: The first batch of the MD530G light scout attack helicopters destined for the Army air wing is expected to be delivered in June 2021, said Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri today. He said the MD Helicopters built light helos would be delivered after undergoing evaluation and certification process.

Bernama report in The Malay Mail

MD530 which was supposed to be delivered for the Malaysian Army on display at the HAI Heli-Expo in Las Vegas

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 ― The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is expected to receive six MD530G helicopters in stages beginning from June next year, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Without providing further details, Ismail Sabri who is also Senior Defence Minister said, however, the assets would need to undergo evaluation test and meet MAF’s criteria before Malaysia proceeds to accept them.

“This is to find out whether the helicopters are suitable to become MAF’s asset or not.

“Today, a team has departed for the United States (US) to carry out the test before the helicopters are certified as MAF assets,” he said after appearing as the guest of Bernama TV’s programme Ruang Bicara: Budget 2021 at Wisma Bernama here, last night.Ismail Sabri said another team would be sent to the US to carry out the certification process if the helicopters were suitable to become MAF’s asset.

Meanwhile, he said the Defence Ministry was in the process of applying to the Public Service Department to increase the number of MAF personnel, especially in Sabah and Sarawak. ― Bernama

MD530G test bird with the weapons package expected to be procured.

If you want to read more on the MD530G saga go here. There are also a ton of stories in the Malaysian Defence archives.
MD530G test aircraft. Destini is now the main contractor for the helicopters.

The report above stated that MAF send a team to the US yesterday – likely from RMAF and the Army – to conduct an evaluation test on its suitability before the certification process and delivery would take place.
The MD530G fitted with the FN Herstal rocket machine gun pod and a Gatling. This is a likely weapon configuration for the LSH.

So what if the evaluation process determined the helicopters to be unsuitable then? I have no idea, your guess is as good as mine. I am guessing that as the minister had announced the delivery date in June, these helicopters will be delivered around that time.
The MD530G displayed at HAI Heli-Expo is also fitted with the twin Hellfire missile launcher on its starboard pylon. The Army did not purchased the Hellfires.

Anyhow I was informed that there was video of a VAT69 team
using a MD600N light helicopter for some fast roping and shooting action being circulated. I was told that this was just a one off demonstration flight conducted with the cooperation of Sapura Aviation which owned the helicopter.

— Malaysian Defence

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13 Comments

  1. ““This is to find out whether the helicopters are suitable to become MAF’s asset or not”

    That sentence highlights something so fundamentally flawed with our defence policy. The requirement for the helicopters was issued by someone other than the end user and a local company was selected to be the agent. In true fashion the company had issues and was replaced by another. Won’t be the first time the armed services get something the never had a requirement for …

    The Little Birds are a light attack/scout heli; suitable for fast reaction and SF work. The problem is not with the helicopter but with our system. The the end user didn’t issue a requirement for them and now – long after being ordered – we have to determine if they are “suitable” …

    Unless deep changes are made: similar examples will reoccur: we’ll keep on repeating the same mistakes and there won’t be a genuine desire to look at where we’ve gone wrong …

  2. “Waste of taxpayers money”

    Not necessarily so…

    The fact remains that the end user didn’t issue a requirement for them but the fact also remains that they aren’t going anywhere. They were originally designed for scout/recce, fire support and SF related work and this is what they should and probably will be employed for in ESSCOM.

    They can also be rapidly deployed to ID or track surface contacts which have been detected by other means. The trick will be to fully coordinate their use with existing assets.

  3. The army now have 10 A109 and will have 6 Little birds (if things go as planned). Not bad, now only need Nuri replacement and maybe much later dedicated attack heli (if there is a requirement)

  4. Kamal,

    That is the paper strength; at any one time ‘x’ won’t be operational.

    The A-109s (only 2 in Sabah) perform various types of roles. All the Little Birds will be in Sabah but their limited space means they have less utility than the
    A-109s; to be expected when one considers what they were originally designed for.

  5. Azlan,

    I rather we had bought 6 F 35s rather than 6 useless Little birds.

    No I disagree with you regarding GGK using the Little Birds for their gigs.

    They’re better off HILO HIHO from the Hercs or fast roped from A 109s.

  6. My humble opinion. While HIHO n HILO methods have their uses, heli borne insertion or extraction have its own use too

  7. “I rather we had bought 6 F 35s rather than 6 useless Little birds”

    I thought it was 18 actually ….

    “They’re better off HILO HIHO from the Hercs or fast roped from A 109s”

    It’s not a question of which is the better option but finding use for what we have.

  8. Lee – “ While HIHO n HILO methods have their uses, heli borne insertion or extraction have its own use too”

    Obviously. Para and heli insertion are performed under different circumstances. In the context of ESSCOM heliborne insertion; either as a means of rapid deployment or in a fast moving tactical scenario; would be the norm.

  9. @Melayu Ketinggalan
    Apples to oranges comparison. How much is an MD530? RM 50mil. How much per unit is that Pakistani Viper order? USD $63.5mil, mind you that is in USD mate.

    And comparing with F-35? That is USD $100mil each. Our contract for 6 MD530s cannot even buy you a single F-35.

    Its nice to dream about satisfying your Western food craving with rib-eye steak but what if you only have RM 10 in your pocket? Layan Mekdi pun kira okeylah, belanja setakat mampu… unless you choose not to spend. And that’s the thing.

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