The MD 530G scout attack helicopter has just completed its ‘live fire’ qualification exercises at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., according to MD Helicopters. This included the .50 caliber and 7.62mm weapons, as well as laser-guided and unguided rockets.
According to the company, the MD 530G live fire tests included the firing of four Raytheon TALON laser guided rockets at distances ranging from 2km to 5km, each striking within 1.5m from the target center. According to Darryl Kreitman, Raytheon TALON program director: ”These test shots showcased TALON's versatility over the entire firing envelope with direct hits for all events.”
The scout attack helicopter is fitted with Moog Stores Management System (SMS), the Mace Aviation extended range weapons wing, FN Herstal machine gun and rocket pods, a Dillon Aero M134D-H mini-gun, L-3 Wescam’s MX-10D turret and an M260 rocket pod.
MD 530G prepares for a night mission. Photo courtesy MD Helicopters
The Moog SMS, when integrated with the aircraft’s avionics and sensor suite, gives pilots a EO/IR sensor suite and precision attack capability. Jason Reichard, director of Moog Integrated Defense Systems, stated that “the 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.”
Company owner and chief executive Lynn Tilton said that the technology and weapon mix onboard the helicopter “will be a game changer for our customers.” She added that “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.”
MD Helicopters affirm that the MD 530G is scheduled to complete its Certificate of Conformance by September 2014 and should begin its initial rate production towards the end of the year.