SHAH ALAM: Three MD530Gs helicopters ready. Defence Minister DS Ismail Sabri told Parliament today that MD Helicopters had completed the manufacture three out of six MD530G light scout attack helicopters contracted for the Army.
He said the helicopters however has yet to be certified due to the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The certification of the helicopters was supposed to be conducted by this month but had postponed indefinitely due to the travel restrictions.
RMAF’s Directorate of General Technical Airworthiness (DGTA), which certified all government operated aircraft had been given the task of certifying the MD530Gs.
Ismail also said that the three other MD530Gs have yet to be completed though he did not say why. The pandemic is also likely the reason the three other MD530Gs has to be be fully manufactured though MD Helicopters financial difficulties may well also be the reason why. It is also likely the company had not started working on the helicopters due to the hold put on the contract by the previous government.
Ismail told Parliament that the Cabinet had on 18 December, 2019 had approved the resumpition of the MD530G contract.
The minister also told the Parliament that RMAF is planning to retire its three Beechcraft King Air 200T maritime surveillance aircraft in 2024. By that time, he added the King Airs would have been in service for 30 years. RMAF had four King Airs but one was written following a crash in December, 2016.
Ismail said the crash was a classified as a training hazard. The King Airs will be replaced by a new MPA which procurement has been approved by the government, he added.
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In the bigger scheme of things, do we really require those MD530G? What missions that the MD530G can do that our current AW109LOH cannot do?
Tenders for Australian Army’s Special Forces Support Helicopter project (Land 2097 Phase 4) was closed on 10 July 2020. Lets see which helicopters will get the win. I was really hoping that our government could be proactive and offer the unwanted MD530G to australia for the Land 2097 phase 4 requirement in exchange for australian S-70A-9, which would be very useful to us to cover for our abrupt retirement of our Nuri fleet that is still without any replacements to date.
If its unwanted by us why do you think Oz wants them?
After the Covid-19, please Just buy the Attack Helicopter. Anything also can. Cause after 4-5 years we wait to get the Md-530G
Good news for the army..thank you 🙂
ok. LCS mostly is die or half die… just let DCNS finish the job
With USA COVID cases still shooting up, better to wait for all 6 choppers to be completed before going over there and take delivery. Usually many would clamour for such an assignment, but this time I think they would be afraid to go there even when its possible.
Marhalim, any idea if these choppers were to be based at ESSCOM theater or at Peninsula?
Yeah, there must be another reason why MDH didn’t join in the bid if their choppers were perfect for Aussie needs. The ADF must be ruing on that missed opportunity.
Safran – “After the Covid-19, please Just buy the Attack Helicopter””
Attack helicopters are not on the shopping list; nor should they.
There are other more vital things to be funded for ….
” If its unwanted by us why do you think Oz wants them? ”
Because the Land 2097 phase 4 requirement suits the MD530G capability.
Australian Army requires at least 16 helicopters for urban special forces operations and that can be deployed rapidly via Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A transports. The new helicopter’s primary mission will be to support small-team air assault by special forces, but will have the ability to be rapidly reconfigured for utility, ISR, and fire-support roles. It is envisaged there will be four troops of the light helicopters, each with four helicopters.
If we keep changing the design specs as alleged, even DCNS would face them same problems in completing to schedule.
Due to unknown political situation here, I hope the Gowind Frigates back on track, if the Boustead fail to achieved let the Naval Groups@DCN continued the jobs…
Michael – “ok. LCS mostly is die or half die”
Well I’m not sure what “die or half die” means but we’ve invested so much in the whole programme there they have to be completed; sooner or later.
Michael – “ just let DCNS finish the job””
Maybe, maybe not.
Depends on what the actual issue is. Is it a question of money, the inability of BNS or other factors?
As it stands; irrespective of where the fault lies; this is another example of the RMN not getting something on time and on budget. The way the Kedahs were handled was a major cock up and it was hoped that the LCS programme would be different.
It is hoped that we’ll identify what went wrong and make an effort to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistake – again. A lot of soul searching is needed and some hard political decisions; the LCS programme is a reflection of our whole defence policy and how we go about doing things ….
Right or wrong; flawed or not; the intention was for these helicopters to be based in ESSCOM. The army (or anyone else for that matter) didn’t write the operational specs. Given a chance; if asked what it needed or wanted as a fire support asset; the army would have said it wanted something else. It has no desire for additional A-109s.
I won’t go into the circumstances of how the programme was handled beyond saying that as per our flawed and self defeating policy; we got a local company to be the “middleman” yet this company was replaced by another (a common occurrence unfortunately); both companies ultimately providing no added value. We could have saved cash by having the end user deal direct with the OEM.
As it stands; the Little Birds aren’t going anywhere and despite whatever inherent limitations; do have utility. I see them used as a fast reaction action (in conjunction with other assets) along the coast or even for roles like SF support or as (as originally intended) a fire support platform. Their ability to perform will depend on the level of support from other assets and the quality of the NVGs we buy.
Hopefully the decision on the MPA is done quickly because 2024 is not a long time.
Also, instead of retiring them for good, these Beechcraft could be used at a reduced role for Esscom. Even with the new mpa and the modified CN-235s (as well as whatever the AF use on ad hoc basis), we’re still short of airframes and
Sometime i wonder why you Salty when it comes to buying list… shopping list or not. i just coming on my mind that For the fill gap while thinking our next gen AH Huh….
3 options to solve the problem
1 – DCNS continue with at less 2 ships.. ok make it 4 the most (half die)
2 – Help BHIC and continue with at less 2 ships.. ok make it 4 the most (half die)
3 – cancel the project (die)
I do not think is due to design problem until this stage. I think mostly because BHIC internal problem. It could be capability, money or management. I dun think government will continue spend more money on this as the country economy is the biggest challenges they need to face. Just hope the new MPA/upgrade cn-235mpa will not affect by this pandemic.
The beechcrafts are a good platform for MPA/MSA. But I would prefer our current B200T to be traded-in to IPTN to partially pay for the upgrades for our CN-235MPA.
MMEA should get its own Beechcraft King Air 200, and upgrade them to MSA with similar fit to UK coast guard aircrafts.
TUDM should not operate 2 types of MPA (CN-235 and new MPA). Instead, TUDM should concentrate to build up the CN-235 to become the best MPA that our budget can afford.
We need to have eyes in the air basically at 4 loacations
1) melacca straits and andaman sea approaches
2) off east coast of peninsular
3) off sarawak and kota kinabalu
4) esscom areas
To cover the areas, IMO we would need:
6x CN-235MPA (TUDM) to cover 2 long range areas (1+2)
6x beechcraft B200 MSA (MMEA) to cover 3 near shore areas (1+2+4).
12x Scaneagle UAV (TLDM) to cover near shore areas (3+4), plus operations from TLDM Frigates (why IMO Type 31s would be ideal with its large hangar so it can hold the UAV plus a helicopter like the lynx)
Fulmar UAV (MMEA) extending the coverage of mmea patrol vessels
8-12x MALE UAV (TUDM) to cover long range areas (3+4)
This is probably my favorite affordable light attack helicopter. If politics and commonality are not an issue.
” … and the quality of the NVGs we buy”
Those MD530G would be equipped with probably the most advanced HMCS to be inducted in the malaysian arsenal.
It would be good if this HMCS system can be installed in the MKM. Previously the MKM was offered with both the Mica AAM and Thales Topsight HMCS, but was declined due to costs.
On the LCS. There are more than meets the eye. Yes there are issues from BNS such as welding and such in the past, but right now the request to change a major component in the ship, needing to do a major redesign is what is stalling the program. Not to mention all the political delays due to changes in the government.
On the MPA
If we want to modify the CN-235 into MPA, we must to it wholeheartedly and forget about a new MPA. Convert all 6 CN-235-220 into MPAs with the best possible fit out that we could afford.
– AESA radar
– SATCOM antennas
– sonobouy launcher
– MAD XR
– air refueling probes
If we do want to get a new MPA, then we should not modify our CN-235 into MPA, and decline the offer of US Maritime Security Initiative to modify 2 of them for free. Then we need to think of what to do with our CN-235 as the airforce has no place for them in the CAP55 plan.
If we do want to get a brand new MPA, my personal favourite would be the one that Pakistan Navy got right now, the RAS-72 Sea Eagle
So it is either CN-235MPA or a new MPA. It should not be both.
Safran – “Sometime i wonder why you Salty when it comes to buying list”
Well you don’t have to “wonder” anymore because I’ll tell you why.
While we can talk about things we might or might not get in the future or things we personally would like to see ordered; I’d like to focus on the things we’re likely to get – of course I’m speaking for myself here.
Dedicated gun ships aren’t even on the list at the moment …. I would like an AEW (which was on the list way before attack helicopters) and has far more utility is than dedicated attack helicopters but the requirement hasn’t even been approved and won’t be for a long time.
I suspect the reason for their retirement date is due to age related issues; i.e. increasingly maintenance intensive.
Unless we order new CNs; chances we we will end up with 2 different MPAs. Support issues can be mitigated if both have a common sensor suite – a big “if” however.
“Given a chance; if asked what it needed or wanted as a fire support asset”
They will want AH-64D Apache Longbows. Sure its nice to have and I can see the reason why, but we just can’t afford it like so many other things our Armed Forces wants.
If you follow the discussion here https://www.malaysiandefence.com/walk-like-the-type-26/
apparently insider info are the delays were due to redesign changes late into the build. The Government needs to see this project thru as money already sunk in and we need all of these ships and more. We will also need an AD variant with AESA sensor suite and Aster15/30 fitout (if possible).
Not really lah
Since someone brought up the issue of dedicated attack helicopter; as tings stand we are a very long way off and when the time actually comes; we may end up getting something not currently offered.
No doubt each design will have its merits and will able to do something better than another design but politics aside; long term operating costs is a major factor. This must be factored in as part of any assessment done.
Like with other assets; how effective any future attack helicopter will be is dependent not on the actual platform but how well we can coordinate/synchronise its with other assets. We also have a clear idea as to what we want our attack helis to do.
Apart from the obvious role of performing in conjunction with ground manoeuvre forces (flank protection and fire support) will we see the need for them – if required – to operate from the decks of RMN ships? Will we acquire the ability to coordinate/synchronise their use with UASs and to call in arty/MLRS?
It’s a great capability to have but one that requires a sustained level of high funding to achieve and maintain the capability. Even if funds were avoidable I’d rather see it spent on other areas.
Eventually Azlan, We not Getting Anything until next 40 years if You say so. Seriously we pushing the goverment to buy something but Only Dust we have. We All keep talking about our Salty Defence but still ?, no useful.
Just get them all md530g..then nuri replacement for putd and rmaf..then additional small helis like md530g like globalranger or h145m for rmaf and putd (another sqdn) for recce and fire support/sf insertion..dedicated attack helis will come last
Safran – “Eventually Azlan, We not Getting Anything until next 40 years if You say so”
Actually; it’s if you say so….
I don’t have your crystal ball or an oracle so unfortunately I cant see beyond next year; let alone your “40 years” but I do know that we have a list of things that have already been approved – in principle – and that attack helicopters are not on the list; nor do I think they should be ….
Safran – “We All keep talking about our Salty Defence but still ?, no useful.”
If that’s indeed the case and its “salty” then there’s really no point to say or discuss anything ….
All the more reason to transfer them beechcraft to Esscom
Even if transferred to ESSCOM, RMAF will still need to operate them.