Lebanon ‘Little Bird' helos revealed to be a previously unknown MD 530F+ standard

by Gareth Jennings

Seen shortly after being offloaded from a cargo aircraft in early October, the six ‘Little Bird' helicopters for Lebanon have been revealed to be a previously unknown MD 530F+ standard. (Lebanese Army)

Six MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530 ‘Little Bird' scout and light-attack rotorcraft delivered to Lebanon in October have been revealed to be a previously unknown MD 530F+ standard.

The United States Embassy in Beirut disclosed the new standard on 16 November, when it noted the official handover of the helicopters to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Air Force.

“So today, we welcome the provision of six MD 530F+ light-attack helicopters to the Lebanese Armed Forces Air Force,” US Ambassador Dorothy C Shea said during the ceremony at Hamat Air Base.

When Janes reported the delivery of the helicopters aboard a chartered cargo aircraft on 6 October, the Defense Cooperation Office of the US Embassy in Lebanon referred to them as being MD 530F platforms. However, the original US Department of Defense contract, announced by MDHI in October 2018, was for the more advanced MD 530G version.


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Australian Army makes HIMARS procurement bid

by Jon Grevatt

Australia has requested to procure 20 M142 HIMARS launchers from the US government, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on 26 May. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The US Department of State has approved the possible sale of Lockheed Martin's M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Australia.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on 26 May that the Foreign Military Sale of 20 M142 launchers and associated weapons and equipment is estimated to cost USD385 million. The proposed deal needs approval by the US Congress.

In addition to the M142s, equipment in the deal include 30 M30A2 guided multiple launch rocket systems (GMLRS), 30 M31A2 GMLRS unitary high-explosive pods, 30 XM403 extended range alternative warhead pods, and 10 M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) munitions.

DSCA said the proposed deal supports US security objectives in the Indo-Pacific. “The proposed sale will improve Australia's capability to meet current and future threats, and will enhance interoperability with US forces and other allied forces,” it added.


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Austria receives Rheinmetall C-UAS system for evaluation

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Austria has received a Rheinmetall C-UAS platform for six months of evaluation and testing. (Rheinmetall)

Austria has received a Rheinmetall Air Defence counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) platform that defends against small unmanned aerial vehicles for six months of evaluation and testing, the German company announced in a press release on 23 May.

Rheinmetall said the system has two shelter units that can be rapidly deployed by standard trucks and trailers. The sensor unit elevates automatically and can be equipped with detection systems including X-band and S-band radar, a passive emitter locator, and ADS-B receiver, with verification and tracking provided by an integrated, stabilized 360° electro-optical pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) sensor. The command-and-control shelter is based on the Oerlikon Skymaster system, providing sensor data fusion, threat evaluation, and operational functions including integrated target cueing, weapon assignment, and links to higher command levels.


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China, Russia fly bombers to ‘counter' Quad summit

by Akhil Kadidal

A Tu-95 bomber of the Russian Air Force flies over the Sea of Japan on 24 May 2022. (Japan Ministry of Defense)

Japan and South Korea scrambled its fighters to intercept a “provocative” joint exercise by four Chinese and two Russian strategic bombers in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on 24 May.

The exercise appears to be a show of force by Beijing and Moscow pointed at the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), which was taking place in Tokyo on that same day. The meeting was attended by the leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.

Two Chinese Xian H-6 bombers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were detected flying from the East China Sea to the Sea of the Japan in the morning. The H-6s were joined by two Tupolov Tu-95 strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in the sea of Japan.

The four bombers proceeded on a southwestern course. In the afternoon, two new PLA H-6s replaced the earlier two H-6s in the formation. The aircraft then flew through the Miyako Strait between Okinawa and Miyakojima islands, into the Western Pacific.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/lebanon-little-bird-helos-revealed-to-be-a-previously-unknown-md-530f-standard

Six MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530 ‘Little Bird' scout and light-attack rotorcraft delivered to Le...

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