MD Helicopters sees opportunities in the Asia-Pacific for its TH530 trainer, which can be quickly reconfigured for combat missions.

Howard Berry, who heads Asia-Pacific sales for the US manufacturer, says potential markets include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and others.

He cites the type’s ruggedness and sustainability as key selling points for military and parapublic forces.


Source: MD Helicopters

The TH530 trainer can be easily upgraded with combat capabilities

The TH530 is based on the company’s popular MD530 light-single, but comes with a range of enhancements that enable the helicopter to be quickly reconfigured to an AH530 light-attack/scout standard, or a more heavily armed AH530 Block II.

In its baseline guise the TH530 includes heavy landing gear, provision for an electro-optical/infrared sensor, a military interior, an emergency locator transmitter, and other relevant systems.

These features are the base for the helicopter to be reconfigured into the armed variants. The AH530 light-attack/scout features items such as a well-protected fuel system, ballistic cockpit armour, and the provision for guns and rockets.

The Block II configuration builds on this, incorporating a range of more advanced features, including the ability to carry Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles.

“It’s a small aircraft with a big punch,” says Jason Lindaur, vice-president sales and marketing at MD Helicopters. “Now that we have the capability of Hellfire from the military side, it’s a full package.”

MD Helicopters is focused on highlighting the type’s multi-role adaptability. “You’re basically getting one platform that can expand,” Lindaur says.

“You can buy this aircraft provisioned, and all you have to do is [add] any weapons that you want, all the way up to the AH530 Block II that can house Hellfire and [BAE Systems’ Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System] capability.”