According to a military official, the US Army has received new and renewed interest from allied partner nations in the MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) MD 530 light attack rotorcraft.
The US Army Non-Standard Rotary-Wing Aircraft Project Office (NSRWA PO) is currently supplying MD-530s to allied nations under a five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) procurement contract awarded to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), but the service has recently received interest from several countries in procuring new ‘Little Bird’ type helicopters.
“We have interest from various nations, including India, Kenya, and Lebanon, in procuring new MD-530s,” the army said, adding, “We have two MD-530s on the production line that were originally procured for Afghanistan, but are currently under a Stop Work order.” We are working with Kenya to resume manufacture as part of their next aircraft procurement.”
The MD-530 is available in two armed variants, the MD-530F and MD-530G. Since the IDIQ award in July 2017, MD-530Fs and MD-530Gs have been ordered and/or delivered to Afghanistan, Kenya, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, with MD-530Gs deployed to Malaysia. India would be a new buyer for the helicopter among the probable sales now noted by the US Army.
The MD-530F model of the MD-530 has been designed to operate in ‘hot and high’ settings, having a more powerful engine and longer main and tail rotor blades than the preceding MD-500E.