The Malaysian Army has received six MD530G light scout/attack helicopters in an effort to strengthen its capability and military readiness.

The move comes more than a month after MD Helicopters (MDHI) announced the initial acceptance of the rotorcrafts for the Malaysia Ministry of Defense through their agent firm, Halaman Optima/Destini Prima.

Malaysian Army Chief General Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain told The New Straits Times that the helicopters will now undergo multiple inspections before they become operational.

These evaluations will be carried out by the Directorate General Technical Airworthiness unit and a Final Acceptance Test (FAT) team.

General Zamrose was quoted as saying: “The helicopters will be able to attack and destroy light armoured vehicles and enemies at a range of 500m to seven kilometres, other than having the agility to perform air reconnaissance.

“Three of the helicopters will be stationed in the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom), along with three Agusta Westland helicopters, and the rest at Mahkota camp in Kluang, Johor.

“The main duty of the helicopters is to perform scout surveillance and they will only attack if threatened.”

The MG530G is the latest light attack helicopter variant based on the Model 500/530 airframe.

Each of the helicopters delivered to Malaysia is equipped with a 7.62mm Gatling gun, a 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 70mm rockets.

The MG530Gs were initially procured for MYR300m ($71.5m) in November 2015 from MD Helicopters, a subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas.

As part of the contract, eight pilots and nine technicians from the 881st Regiment of Malaysia Army Aviation have completed training in West Texas.

The new helicopters will replace four older Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri helicopters.

Last month, the Royal Malaysian Air Force decided to phase out its entire fleet of 38 Nuris after 50 years of service due to high maintenance costs.