Malaysia having troubles with MD-530G attack helicopter acquisition

An MD-530G as part of the flying demonstrations during LIMA 2015. Photo c/o Flight Global.

Two years after passing the deadline for the delivery of the first batch of MD Helicopters MD-530G Little Bird light attack helicopters, the Malaysian Army (MA) still has none of the said helicopters and it appears that there’s nothing coming soon.

This is despite the Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) already paying more than MYR112.65 million (US$26.5 million) as initial payment for the order of six (6) helicopters worth MYR300 million (US$70 million) since 2016 through direct negotiations with MD Helicopters’s local agent.

Based on the contract, two (2) helicopters will be delivered by July 2017, and the rest by 2018.

The MINDEF has submitted a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as former MINDEF officials have been implicated in possible corruption and irresponsible management and governance of the project, including having a contract that was said to be not in the best interest of the country.

It only took four months from submission of proposal, which took place during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2015 (LIMA 2015) to contract signing, which is irregular based on MINDEF’s reports.

The local company representing MD Helicopters was reported to have close ties to a “very senior MINDEF official. It was also found that the company has also been cut out of contract with MD Helicopters by the time the deal with the MOD was signed.  

Another issue raised was the increase in pricing, as originally the offer for the helicopters made in 2015 was worth US$60 million, and three months later it was revised to US$70 million.

It is still unclear if an actual order was indeed made, or if deliveries will be made by MD Helicopters, since the deal is already flawed before MD Helicopters was even involved.

[1] Bernama News
[2] The Edge Markets
[3] Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia having troubles with MD-530G attack helicopter acquisition Malaysia having troubles with MD-530G attack helicopter acquisition Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on June 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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