Six MD Helicopter MD-530G light attack helicopters that will be used by the Malaysian Army Aviation (Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat PUTD) are currently undergoing pre-delivery inspection (PDI) checks before entering service officially. The PDI process for the six MD Helicopters was to ensure that all technical aspects and specifications were fully met for its future operations to strengthen the army’s air mobility. Malaysia ordered the MD 530Gs in early 2016 under a contract estimated to be worth $76.4 million. Based on the procurement contract, all the helicopters are expected to be delivered to Malaysia at the end of this year.
The Malaysian Army also plans to equip Aviation Unit with dedicated attack helicopters in support of Malaysian Army units. Several makes have been considered and evaluated, including the Denel Rooivalk, Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow, Agusta A129 Mangusta or TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK and the Eurocopter Tigre. Quantity and variety to purchased unknown. In 2016, six MD530G light attack helicopter ordered. In 2006, the squadron was strengthened with the delivery of 11 AW109 used for light observation duties. Five of the AW109s were delivered in December 2005 with the balance of the delivery made during 2006. These helicopters replace the retired SA 316 Alouette III.
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. On the developments of comprehensive training at MD Helicopter Inc in Arizona, USA for pilots and technicians, Affendi said the armed forces have sent eight pilots and nine technicians to undergo such training from April 24 till August 13. The training is to increase pilot skill in weapons system operations, tactical flight and air combat training while crew training is for maintenance of aircraft, engines and weapons.
The MD 530G 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.