MD 530G Scout Attack Helicopter, United States of America


MD 530G is a next-generation armed scout attack helicopter being developed by MD Helicopters. It is designed to provide enhanced agility and firepower for the armed forces.

The armed aerial scout helicopter can be deployed with any rotary wing unit to provide comprehensive battlefield command-and-control coordination for the successful execution of attack, reconnaissance and security missions.

The helicopter was unveiled at the Helicopter International Association conference and exhibition (Heli-Expo) held in Anaheim, US, in February 2014. It successfully fired .50 calibre and 7.62mm ammunition, and unguided and four Raytheon TALON laser-guided rockets during live fire qualification exercise at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, in August 2014.

The MD 530G helicopter is expected enter into initial rate production in the fourth quarter of 2014.

MD 530G design and features

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. It offers efficient and effective performance in hot and high conditions.

The Armed Aerial Scout 72X (AAS-72X), an advanced derivative of UH-72A light utility helicopter (LUH), is being offered for the Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) programme of the US Army.

The helicopter is 7.76m long and 3m wide and has an overall height of 2.88m. It has five main rotor blades and two tail rotor blades. The main rotor diameter is 8.38m, while the tail rotor diameter is 1.55m. The helicopter has an empty weight of 885kg, maximum internal gross weight of 1,520kg and maximum take-off gross weight of 1,701kg. It can carry an increased useful load of 816kg to operate with additional range and endurance.

Weapon systems fitted to the scout attack helicopter

The helicopter is equipped with Raytheon's 70mm TALON laser-guided rocket to provide precision engagement and superior firepower capabilities against soft and lightly armoured point targets. The rocket features a laser guidance kit incorporating digital semi-active laser seeker, a three-axis control actuation system, guidance electronics and the TALON roll-optimising tail-fin assembly.

A Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP-400) developed by FN Herstal is mounted in a 14in NATO standard bomb rack of 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 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.

The helicopter is fitted with Dillon Aero's 7.62mm M134D-H (Hybrid) mini Gatling gun that can store up to 3,000 rounds of ammo magazine. It also features Arnold Defense M260 seven-shot rocket pod.

The third-generation, 24.2lb Moog Weapon Stores Management System (SMS) is installed to manage and control weapon systems of the helicopter. It consists of a Stores Management Computer (SMC), two Stores Interface Units (SIUs), two Lightweight Rocket Interface Units (RIUs), a Multi-Function Display (MFD), and a Stores Control Panel (SCP). The MFD and SCPs are installed on the cockpit panel, while the other systems are incorporated in the cargo compartment.

The helicopter is also configured with a lightweight Mace Extended Range Weapons Wing (ER2W) with four-station weapons mounting structure. It can carry more than 1,300lb of weapons and ammunition.

Sensors on-board MD 530G

The MD 530G armed aerial scout helicopter is equipped with combat-proven L-3 Wescam MX-10 and MX-10D EO/IR tactical surveillance systems in a single line replaceable unit (LRU) configuration. The payload incorporates multiple infrared imaging sensors, precision optics, laser designator and an advanced communications suite.

"The MD 530G scout attack helicopter is powered by Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engine, which generates a power output of 485kW."

The infrared, colour HD and electron-multiplied Charge Coupled Device (CCD) imaging sensors are used to capture simultaneous full motion digital video and high resolution imagery.

The 43lb multi-spectral targeting system features a built-in embedded GPS inertial navigation system to provide high-accuracy geo-point and geolocation capabilities. It also features four-axis stabilisation with vibration isolation to support laser designation over 10km.

MD 530G engine and performance

The MD 530G scout attack helicopter is powered by Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engine, which generates a power output of 485kW.

The helicopter can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 240km/h at sea level under international standard atmospheric conditions. It has a maximum permitted speed of 282km/h at sea level and can fly to a range of 426km. The MD 530G can endure for two and half hours with an auxiliary fuel tank.

The Global Military Rotorcraft Market 2011-2021

This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global military rotorcraft market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783; Americas: +1 415 439 4914; Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.

Defence Technology