MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announces a strategic teaming agreement with Elbit Systems Ltd (ESL) to deliver next-generation weapons and mission management capabilities to its MD 530G Block II (BII) Scout Attack Helicopter. The proven, pilot-centric Integrated Weapons System (IWS) is comprised of a Helmet Display and Tracking System (HDTS), Weapons Management System (WMS) and Mission Management System (MMS).
“Design and disruption are the cornerstone of all product development efforts,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc. “This partnership with Elbit Systems, Ltd. will allow us to rapidly expand the capabilities of the MD 530G, resulting in a next-generation, advanced light scout attack helicopter solution that will set a new standard in this highly competitive class.”
In line with MD Helicopters’ commitment to delivering excellence and innovation in design, the integrated, advanced avionics suite utilizes an intuitive Human Machine Interface (HMI), multi-functional smart displays and next-generation applications to deliver a fully compatible multi-mission cockpit that reduces pilot workload, increases efficiency of crew operations, and delivers increased lethality for a range of operational parameters.
Helmet Display & Tracking System (HDTS)
The HDTS configuration supports both daytime and nighttime operation, allowing the pilot to intuitively maneuver the aircraft into attack positions and engage targets heads-up and eyes out.
Weapons Management System (WMS)
The advanced digital WMS will allow the MD 530G BII Scout Attack Helicopter to support a comprehensive array of suppressive firepower options as well as unguided and guided munitions, including Hellfire Missile and, with authorized customer demand, APKWS. Standard configuration includes support for M260 Rocket Pods, HMP 400 Digital Gun Pods, RMP Digital Gun/Rocket Pods, and the M134D-H Mini-Guns. Critical weapons management functions, such as weapon activation and HDTS operation, will be integrated into the cyclic grip and collective for both pilots.
Mission Management System (MMS)
The main component in the MD 530G BII Scout Attack Helicopter MMS is the Digital Mapping application (DMAP) managed by a touch screen graphical user interface (GUI). This moving map display will give pilots greater situational awareness with aircraft positions, known threats, and friendly locations plotted. The aircraft’s EO/IR solution will integrate directly with the new MMS to enable detect and store intelligence. Detect and store intelligence ensures that once a target has been acquired, the crew can choose to attack with guided weapons from a distance, or unguided munitions using the ballistics Continuously Calculated Impact Point (CCIP) displayed over the HDTS.
The enhanced Integrated Weapons System, certified and in use on fixed and rotary wing medium and heavy attack platforms already in service with U.S. and Allied forces around the world, will deliver greater mission flexibility and improved operational performance, making the already multi-mission-capable MD 530G perfectly suited for Close Support operations including attack, forward air control, armed reconnaissance, counter-insurgency, and observation.
“These are exciting times at MDHI,” said Stephen Suttles, Vice President of Commercial and Military Sales and Marketing for MD Helicopters, Inc. “Competition is a good thing in our business. We believe that the limited market penetration by others in this space is an incredible advantage for us, and we are confident in our ability to deliver equitable precision capabilities backed by an unmatched history of safety and survivability sooner than our competitors, and at a much better price point.”
“A proven and iconic light scout attack helicopter platform, the addition of this elegant, technically superior solution elevates the MD 530G BII to best-in-class status,” Tilton concludes. “My team has delivered industry-leading rotorcraft solutions for decades. Now partnered with the Elbit Systems team, we are poised to bring a new level of customizable, operator-focused solutions to U.S. and Partner Nation aviation forces.”
MD Helicopters anticipates live fire events with a production-quality test asset in 2020.