Texas-based MD Helicopters has officially handed over six of its MD 530G light scout attack helicopters to the Malaysian defense ministry via their agent Halaman Optima/Destini Prima.
The aircraft are now in transit to Malaysia for final acceptance and are 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 completed forward arming and refueling point (FARP) operations training in West Texas.
The initial delivery announced by the company on January 13 followed rectification work that was identified as necessary last year. Malaysia ordered the helicopters in 2016 and had originally been expected to receive them in two batches in 2017 and 2018. This month’s hand-over is the result of several “technical” and other issues that have pushed the delivery beyond the original deadline several times.
“We are very pleased to accept the delivery of this outstanding aircraft at MD Helicopters on behalf of the Malaysian defense ministry. 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,” Destini Prima’s senior vice president Ek Sing Nguong said.
The 530G is the latest light attack helicopter configuration based on the model 500/530 airframe. The 530G for Malaysia integrates 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, as well as the 2.75-inch folding-fin aerial rockets. The aircraft will provide Malaysia with close-in support night or day, as well as a reconnaissance capability.
“The 530G continues to build on the outstanding history of the MDHI light scout attack platform. 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,” MDHI vice president of programs Duncan Koerbel added.