KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3, 2020 - Defence Minister,  Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told Parliament today that MD Helicopters had completed the manufacture three out of six MD530G contracted for the Army.

He explained that the Cabinet's decision on Dec 18 last year was to continue the contract, after taking into account the financial implications.

He said the helicopters however has yet to be certified due to the travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The certification of the helicopters was supposed to be conducted by this month but had postponed indefinitely due to the travel restrictions.

While the other three which have been completed need to go through the certification process (Type Certificate and Certificate of Airworthiness) and Pre Delivery Inspections (PDI) at the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) premises, MD Helicopter Inc (MDHI) USA, before being sent to Malaysia.

These helicopters are expected to be handed over to the government before November 2021 after the company involved fulfils all contract obligations that are still pending, namely helicopter certification; exercise; Pre Delivery Inspections (PDI); and Final Acceptance Test (FAT),” he said.

He said that the procurement of the aircraft was for the use of the army which was in dire need of 'air mobility' assets, especially in the military operations area of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom).