The Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia) is expected to take delivery of six new MD 530-G light combat helicopters by end of this year at the earliest. Malaysian Army Chief Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi said a team, comprising experts, had been sent to the United States early last month to check on the configuration and technical details as well as to take flight certifications for the helicopter. Several tests would be carried out by the armed forces team before the helicopters, made by the US-based MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI), are brought home. Hasbullah added that the six helicopters will be based in the state of Sabah for deployment with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), which has in recent years encountered security challenges related to ongoing insurgencies and general lawlessness in the southern Philippines
Malaysia ordered the MD 530Gs in early 2016 under a contract estimated to be worth $76.4 million. The US Government announced its commitment to provide six MD 530G light attack helicopters, associated equipment and training to support the Malaysian Armed Forces’ rotary-wing close-air-support missions in December 2017. Local company Halaman Optima was originally selected as the intermediary between the Malaysian government and MD Helicopters, although Halaman Optima was later acquired by Destini Berhad, which is now executing the contract. The Malaysian government had given approval to Destini Berhad to continue fulfilling the remaining obligations for the acquisition, including ensuring all six helicopters are “ready for delivery.”
MD 530G is an armed scout-attack helicopter developed by MD Helicopters. It is designed to provide enhanced agility and firepower for the armed forces. The MD 530G armed aerial scout helicopter is designed based on the MD 530F airframe and is engineered with advanced technology to deliver enhanced combat capabilities. A Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP-400) developed by FN Herstal is mounted in a 14in Nato standard bomb rack on the helicopter. It features a 12.7mm FN M3P machine gun with a rate of fire of around 1,100 rounds per minute. The helicopter is also equipped with a Rocket Machine Gun Pod (RMP), which is effective against both guided and unguided rockets. The RMP combines a 12.7mm FN M3P machine gun and Nato Standard 70mm three-tube rocket launcher into a single weapons mount. The machine gun can store up to 250 cartridges.
MD Helicopters, Inc. (formerly McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems) is an American aerospace manufacturer. It produces light utility helicopters for commercial and military use. The company was a subsidiary of Hughes Aircraft until 1984, when McDonnell Douglas acquired it and renamed it McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems. It later became MD Helicopters in the late 1990s when McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing. In 1999, Boeing completed the sale of the civilian line of helicopters to MD Helicopter Holdings Inc., an indirect subsidiary of the Dutch company, RDM Holding Inc. The line included the MD 500 and variants as well as the family of derivative NOTAR aircraft that originated with Hughes Helicopters Inc. Boeing maintained the AH-64 line of helicopters and rights to the NOTAR system. After suffering dismal commercial performance, the company was purchased in 2005 by Patriarch Partners, LLC, an investment fund. The company was recapitalized as an independent company, MD Helicopters, Inc.