Elbit Upgrade to Give MD 530G Hellfire, APKWS

 In Air

MD Helicopters intends to upgrade its MD 530G Block II scout attack heli­copter with an inte­grat­ed weapons system made by Elbit Systems that would make the rotor­craft capa­ble of car­ry­ing and firing the AGM-114 Hellfire mis­sile.

The addi­tion of the semi-active laser-guided mis­sile would give the MD 530G an anti-tank and anti-armour capa­bil­i­ty it does not cur­rent­ly have.

The Elbit Systems upgrade pack­age for the MD 530G is to include a helmet dis­play and track­ing system, weapons man­age­ment system and mis­sion man­age­ment system, says MD Helicopters.

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MD Helicopters MD 530G Block II scout attack heli­copter

MD Helicopters

The weapons man­age­ment system would also enable the light heli­copter to carry and launch the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser-guided rocket, in addi­tion to the Hellfire, says MD Helicopters.

“Critical weapons man­age­ment func­tions, such as weapon acti­va­tion and [helmet dis­play & track­ing system] oper­a­tion, will be inte­grat­ed into the cyclic grip and col­lec­tive for both pilots,” says the com­pa­ny.

The MD 530G’s cur­rent stan­dard con­fig­u­ra­tion includes unguid­ed rocket pods and mini-guns.

Competitor Boeing told FlightGlobal at the Dubai air show in November that it expects a renais­sance in sales of its AH‑6 Little Bird light-attack heli­copter, stem­ming partly from dif­fi­cul­ties a “com­peti­tor” is facing to gain Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to equip its heli­copter with Hellfire mis­siles. The clos­est US com­peti­tor to the AH‑6 is the MD 530 – both light heli­copters are based on the Hughes OH‑6 Cayuse.

MD Helicopters did not respond to a request for com­ment about FMS approval for the Hellfire mis­sile.

The com­pa­ny antic­i­pates live fire tests of the MD 530G equipped with Elbit System’s inte­grat­ed weapons system in 2020.

Source: Flight Global

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