Mesa, Ariz.-based MD Helicopters (MD) is one step closer to its planned production of the MD530G scout attack helicopter. The light, single-engine aircraft built on the same general airframe as the OH-6 and AH/MH-6 Little Bird completed live fire testing of its missile, rocket and gun systems at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground last month, poising it to go into full production before the end of the year.
The MD530G scout attack helicopter is designed to be light, economical scout and attack aircraft that can carry an assortment of weaponry. Full production is currently scheduled for late 2014. Photo by Ernie Stephens
The stubby wings of the MD530G helicopter can be loaded with an assortment of weapons, including 2.75-in. guided and unguided rockets, 70mm Hydra rockets, M3P .50 caliber machine gun, and M134 7.62mm Gatlin gun. MOOG Integrated Defense Systems of Orlando, Fla., builds the targeting and release systems for the weapons.
The MD530G's Roll-Royce 250-C30 turbine engine delivers 650 shp, helping it lift a useful load of 1,900 lbs. aloft. It has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 3,750 lbs. and can reach a top speed of 152 KCAS at sea level.
Other variants of the basic MD500 design are currently in service in military, civil and private roles around the world.