MD Helicopters (MDHI) announced the successful completion of Live Fire Qualification Exercises at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, for its new MD 530G Scout Attack Helicopter. The MD 530G was configured with the Moog Stores Management System (SMS), the Mace Aviation Extended Range Weapons Wing, FN Herstal Machine Gun Pods and Rocket Machine Pods, Dillon Aero M134D-H Mini-Gun, the L-3 Wescam MX-10D, and M260 rocket pod.
“The bold performance and target accuracy of the MD 530G aircraft during the Yuma firing exercise is a testament to the reliability of the combat-proven OH-6/530F airframe. Infused with modern technology and MD innovation, the agility and firepower that the MD 530G provides will be a game-changer for our customers, allowing significant expansion in airborne combat capabilities,” said Lynn Tilton, CEO of MDHI. “The versatility of this aircraft for attack, scout and escort missions provides maximum combat utility at the lowest operating cost in the Scout Attack Helicopter class.”
The live fire demonstration included .50 calibre and 7.62mm ammunition, as well as unguided and laser-guided rockets. Of note, the MD 530G fired four Raytheon TALON Laser Guided rockets at distances ranging from 2km to 5km, each striking within 1.5 metres from centre of target.
“This test further demonstrates the maturity of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket weapon system as a complement to MD’s Scout Attack platform,” said Darryl Kreitman, Raytheon TALON programme director. “These test shots showcased TALON’s versatility over the entire firing envelope with direct hits for all events. The successful testing once again demonstrated TALON’s precision guidance capabilities.”
The MD 530G programme debuted at HeliExpo in February 2014. Following the successful Live Fire exercises at Yuma, the 530G is on schedule to complete Certificate of Conformance by September 2014, with initial rate production beginning in the fourth quarter 2014.
MD Helicopters has been at the forefront of more than 50 years of Scout Attack Helicopter innovation, beginning with the 1963 introduction of the OH-6A Cayuse through to the 1985 certification of the MD 530F, the world’s most reliable scout for “hot and high” performance. The MD 530G is the next evolution of purpose-built armed Scout Attack Helicopters. Designed to be the lowest cost Gunship in the marketplace, the MD 530G maximises mission versatility and capability for MD customers.
“Moog’s third generation weapon Stores Management System’s (SMS) small size, weight and power, along with its modularity and affordability, enables MD’s customers to have a maximum interoperable loadout of weapons at their command, featuring an easy to understand weapons status overlay that enables efficient and effective combat mission execution,” said Jason Reichard, Director of Moog Integrated Defense Systems. “Additionally, our SMS mechanical, electrical and software design elements have been thoroughly tested at both the component and integrated system levels to verify and assure reliable performance in the harshest combat environments.”
The MD 530G platform enables military customers to meet mission requirements in austere environments more efficiently and effectively than ever before. With cruise speeds in excess of 110kts, the MD 530G is designed for agile deployment with any rotary wing unit. The MD 530G also features increased capacity landing gear to support 3 750 MGTOW (max gross takeoff weight). This impressive weight capability allows the operator to utilise the increased useful load for additional range, endurance, and weapons capabilities.
“MDHI has a rich history of delivering the mission proven rotorcraft that pilots want to fly, that EMS and law enforcement use to save lives, and that military forces rely on to protect and defend the heroes who protect and defend the United States and our allies,” concludes Tilton. “It is my mission to further secure MDHI’s position as the future of rotary wing aviation, by delivering technologically superior, high-performance, challenge-ready aircraft like the MD 530G. This aircraft is poised to become the preferred armed scout and light attack helicopter solution for US and Allied fleets around the globe.”
The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer, and single engine versions of the MD 600N, MD 520N, MD 500E, MD 530F, MD 530G and MD 540A.