SHAH ALAM: MD530G LSAH Finally Coming Home. Some six years after they were contracted, the Malaysian Army MD Helicopters MD-530G Light Scout Attack Helicopters (LSAH) are finally on their way home. MD Helicopters announced that the army had taken initial acceptance of the six LSAH and it will be in transit for delivery.
The company issued a release on January 13:
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced the initial acceptance of six MD 530G Light Scout Attack helicopters for the Malaysia Ministry of Defense via their agent Halaman Optima/ Destini Prima. The aircraft are now in transit to Malaysia for final acceptance and expected to arrive in-country by the end of the first quarter of 2022. As part of the contract eight pilots and nine mechanics from the 881st Regiment of Malaysia Army Aviation have completed forward arming and refueling point (FARP) operations training in West Texas.
Destini Prima’s Senior Vice President, Ek Sing Nguong, Lt Col RMAF (Retired) said, “We are very pleased to accept the delivery of this outstanding aircraft at MD Helicopters on behalf of the Malaysian Ministry of Defense. It is with great excitement that we are able to take this program to the next stage. We look forward to the equipment’s arrival in Kuala Lumpur to complete the in-country final acceptance training.”
The 530G is the latest in a long line of light attack helicopter configurations based on the Model 500/530 airframe. The 530G for Malaysia continues to raise the bar on performance with the integration of the Wescam L3 MX10D sensor and the Pathfinder Ares Weapons Management System from Tek Fusion. These integrated systems are used to support the Dillion M134 Mini Gun, FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun and Rocket Machine Gun pods, and 2.75-inch Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets (guided and unguided). The aircraft provides overwhelming close-in support night or day, as well as outstanding reconnaissance capability.
MDHI Vice President of Programs, Duncan Koerbel noted, “The 530G continues to build on the outstanding history of the MDHI light scout attack platform. This aircraft brings the best value and performance in its class. Hands down. It is easy to maintain, incredibly agile, and with over 27,000,000 flight hours, mission ready. MDHI is pleased to be a part of helping the Malaysian government provide land and maritime security.”
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From the release it isn’t clear when the helicopters will be arriving here apart from the rather fuzzy date of the first quarter of 2022. Based on the deliveries to the Lebanon Army, all the six MD530Gs could fit into a single Antonov 124 if they paid for air transport of course. Based on the statement, I am guessing that LSAH will be shipped home hence the rather fuzzy date. Since we have been waiting for them for the last six years or so, I am guessing two or three months are not that long. I could be wrong of course, and the helicopters will duly arrived next week.
It may well be the LSAH will beat the MUH for delivery, just yet.
— Malaysian Defence
Are they to be based in Sabah, I think it was initially in ESSCOM, then someone said Kuantan. I’m confused.
No politician or Government servants went to Arizona USA to do receiving other than the training crew? I’m impressed.
Could it be their Sinovacs were not accepted for entry to US? Or perhaps they just learnt not to publish out their galivanting adventures abroad anymore.
Just to shed light why estimate Q1 when the choppers are basically ready to go. There is likely some time needed to prepare the appropriate declarations & papers, for the shipments to be cleared by both US & Malaysian authorities, the freight forwarder would have to be notified they are legally transporting weapons (as not all will take the job), dangerous goods insurance coverage, and lastly anyone with passing interest on the state of the world would heard of the global shipment crunch affecting supply chains (and leading to price increases) for just about everything. Even normal civvie goods are delayed for months, whatmore special goods transportation such as these. Importantly, their shipment MUST NOT transit HK or any China ports or else they could be held for a few months more (ie SG Bionix).
If so, alhamdulillah…
What will the heli be used for now? Pretty useless heli in my opinion. Joy ride for H2O and oh, the Merdeka parade and Lima shows?
They went but not publicised
The original plan was for them to be based in Sabah but now they are supposed to be in Kuantan where the Army Air Wing has a new hangar inside the airbase
I am now confused. Why keep the Little Birds in Kuantan? Shouldn’t they be operating from Sabah’s East Coast?
Beli salah …tak beli pun salah..typikal
I have no idea why, really
“They went but not publicised”
Ahh, winter in Arizona is really for those active people like our “hardworking” public servants & ministers. There is ski activities at Flagstaff, or sightseeing the Mesa, Monument Valley & Grand Canyon, experience the cowboy lifestyle & rodeo, Las Vegas is just around the corner, endless shopping in Tucson for the wives. They could even do some intel gathering that would benefit our nation, such as scouting out unis & colleges for their kids.
After all, they “deserve” this fully-paid-by-taxpayers working holiday, rite? 😉
kamal – ”What will the heli be used for now? Pretty useless heli in my opinion.”
In your opinion but in the real world the heli is intended as a light armed recce/scout and attack platform…. Based on that we can make an educated guess as to what the army will employ it for. A common mistake made by many is to assume that just because they have little range, endurance and carrying capacity; the Little Birds have no utility. Another silly mistaken things is to make a direct comparison between the little Birds and larger more exspensve dedicated attack gunships.
Taib – ‘I am now confused. Why keep the Little Birds in Kuantan?”
They were ordered on the basis we needed something which could provide aerial firepower and be used as a fast reaction asset in ESSCOM. Along the way I suppose we figured it could be put to better use performing as a
”No politician or Government servants went to Arizona USA to do receiving other than the training crew? I’m impressed.”
”Impressed” with what exactly? You kept insisting that top brass would go on a holiday on the pretext of working and enjoy the scenic beauty of Arizona. Others pointed out that this wasn’t necessarily so; that the handover might be performed by someone else already there… It was also pointed out that there was/is no fixed rule; depends. The Hornets weren’t handed over to top brass; nor were various other things we bought. Depends on the circumstances……
From the photo, the “experimental” sticker is still on those MD530G. What does this mean to the type certification received or could this be an old photo?
From the FlightGlobal, the Lebanese MDs we’re transported in a normal commercial cargo aircraft. Would this make a big difference in term of shipping cost as per using the Antonov?https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/six-md530fs-reach-lebanon-aboard-747-freighter/145819.article
So there is no truth about so-called mismanagement claimed by PH then..
The fact that they are finally delivered does not distract from the fact that there was something wrong with the deal. Whether there was enough evidence to punish any party is another issue of course
The experimental thing is a US requirement, it got nothing to do with us. It is a military aircraft sold to a foreign country there is no need for MD Helicopters to try get it register with FAA, it will cost money. Its the same for air transport, the Lebanese deal was paid by Uncle Sam, so they can afford to pay for it. Apart from higher air freight cost, one must consider whether there is any slot available with Antonov Airlines. At the moment, they are busy transporting Singapore’s H225Ms and Chinooks.
“Others pointed out that this wasn’t necessarily so”
See “They went but not publicised”
The procurement of the MD530G has been riddled in controversy, of course they do not want any visits involving top brass there publicised.
At long last. Hope it could be used to its potential..don’t underestimate the little bird. It can come in the middle of the night unnoticed under the radar and suddenly boom!!
While we all still at this..the phil will get another 32 blackhawk..further order after their initial batch of 16 units..and yet where are we?..Reluctant and hesitant to splash the money..almost all the time
Why would we need that many helis..Philipina is made up of hundreds of islands and prone to natural disasters so they need the helis..Malaysia not so much..when we bought the 12 Caracals ..the opposition went berserk…
“don’t underestimate the little bird. It can come in the middle of the night unnoticed under the radar and suddenly boom!!”
No one is underestimating the Little Birds. But it will be hard to appreciate their value unless we develop the capability to operate them jointly. Having enough JTAC trained personnel and radios among our units, developing procedures to provide fire support on time, training to support helicopters and SOF units from the RMN and RMAF and so on. With due respect to our resident veteran, the days when assets were judged by their firepower alone are long past.
mofaz – ”the phil will get another 32 blackhawk..further order after their initial batch of 16 units..and yet where are we?”
It’s an absolutely priority for them; plus they have always operated a large rotary fleet. At any given day units could be in operations at several points across the country; from north Luzon to the Visayas to Mindanao; many areas have poor lines of communications and the ability to perform HADR is crucial.
AM – ”But it will be hard to appreciate their value”
For me; we either use it as a SOF support platform or as a armed scout platform. If it’s the latter it should be permanently assigned to 4th Mechanised Brigade. Assigning the squadron to that brigade makes sense as its the ideal complement to the brigade and both will be famliar working with each other.
bajak Laut” It can come in the middle of the night unnoticed under the radar and suddenly boom!!”
Not as simplistic as that. It’s strength so to speak; relies on low level flying [leaving those on the ground with a very short window of opportunity; surprise and agility but its highly vulnerable to ground fire. It’s great platform but like everything else it has to be used in a proper manner; not misused.