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The Salvadoran Air Force is preparing to receive four new MD530 helicopters

Unlike other media outlets, these are new MD530 helicopters introduced in 2017 that have never been part of the US arsenal. As we previously reported, the Salvadoran Air Force (SAF) acquired three MD530F aircraft for use in Mal. It is now reported that four will be arriving soon. The number of aircraft will allow the fleet of six MD500s to be serviced in this African country while three aircraft will be returned to El Salvador.

The MD500 is a fast and agile helicopter that has proven itself as a lightweight attack and reconnaissance platform. With its experience during the internal conflict, El Salvador will provide the Torogoz contingent with three MD500E’s, their crews and a support element as part of the multidimensional integrated stabilization mission of the United Nations in Mal (MINUSMA). The helicopters were used to fly armed patrols, monitor armed forces on the ground and even evacuate victims. The three FAS MD500E will arrive in the Malian city of Tumbuktu in May 2015 and will arrive in Gao with a second contingent named Gaviln I in January 2019. Of the six aircraft, one will have an accident in the same year-end of 2019.

In late 2017, the U.S. Army was looking for up to 150 helicopters of various types for delivery between 2019 and 2024 on behalf of U.S. government agencies as part of a broader combined agreement. Non-military allies and partners from the United States and abroad. In this way, the US Army will acquire an inventory of more than 300 Bell models (407GX, 412EPI, 429 and 505) and their Huey II conversions (repowered) as well as MD Helicopters models (MD500F and MD530F). In addition to the ships, the final contract also includes spare parts and services.

The machines would not be intended for the U.S. Army itself, but would go to other government agencies, which could include the State Department, federal law enforcement, or even members of the intelligence community, or be part of agreements for military sales abroad. This is evidenced by the fact that neither the Bell 407GX, 412EPI, 429 or 505 nor the MD500E / F or MD530F / G are part of the US arsenal, although some of them are used in the Special Forces Command.

The MD530F Cayuse Warrior is an armed variant of the OH-6 Cayuse light observation helicopter. It is designed to enhance the scouting strike, armed escort and air assault capabilities of the air forces. The model increases the maximum gross take-off weight from 1,406 kg to 1,519 kg and has a modular structure and an extended undercarriage with high capacity. The main rotor system consists of five fully articulated folding blades, while the tail rotor system has two blades. The diameter of the main rotor is 8.38 m and that of the tail rotor is 1.55 m.

The helicopter is 9.8 m long, 2.6 m high and the diameter of its main rotor is 8.38 m. The curb weight is 722 kg and the maximum gross take-off weight is 1,406 kg. The MD530F can carry a payload of 684 kg and an external load of 979 kg and has a fuel capacity of 183 kg. It is equipped with a teardrop-shaped hull that is 7.04 m long and 1.4 m wide. The front part of the fuselage contains the cockpit and cockpit compartments, while the lower part houses two fuel cells. The cabin compartment offers space for a pilot, a co-pilot and up to three people. The crew seats are equipped with a four-point restraint system and the front passenger seats with a three-point restraint system.

The Cayuse Warrior MD530F is equipped with an FN HMP400 LCC coaxial weapon system developed by FN Herstal. Your avionics consist of T-shaped instruments that come with a package that includes a Garmin G500H dual flight display, night vision devices (NVGs), and LH dual command flight controls. The communication system includes the tactical radio Rhode & Schwarz M3AR with a frequency range from 30 MHz to 400 MHz. Its drive consists of a Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turbo-shaft motor, which generates an output of 485 kW, enables a maximum cruising speed of 248 km / h and has a maximum range of 430 km and a maintenance limit of 5,700 m.

Repowered helicopter

It has been suggested that El Salvador could receive repowered models and / or a package of retrofit spares from the MD in addition to the four MD530 Type Huey-II. It turns out that in addition to the five MD500Es currently in Mal, there is an operational and a deadline at home. With the MD factory switch from E to F, the machines would swap their Rolls Royce 250-C20B engine for the more powerful RR250-C30, swapping out the main rotor blades and tail rotor, and a gearbox from Improved main rotor model F and an improved tail rotor drive shaft. We note that three MD500Es were purchased new in 2012 and the others will die in the 1980s and 1990s. These are supplemented by two remaining Swiss 300Cs for training.

It is also worth remembering that the Bell 412 FAS253 helicopter, decommissioned since 2007, has returned to service after an investment of $ 1,875,238.01. This means that three Bell 412s are in active service. The broadcast of the FAS-001 presidential bell was also discussed in order to get closer to the operational minimum image of 5 Bell 412. Another bell 412 had been requested through a loan at the end of 2019, and those that did not materialize. These machines cost between $ 10 million and $ 13 million. Up to five Huey IIs or similar are also required.

It was Colonel Salvador Palacios Castillo, who died on January 2, 2006 as Chief of Staff of the Salvadoran Air Force (FAS) and was looking for a replacement. He had also negotiated with Yaron Degani of Grupo Pulsar in El Salvador to redirect the modernization of the UH-1H. At this point, 6 packages for US $ 2.5 million each had been approved to Huey-II, followed by another package of more than US $ 13 million for Northwest Helicopters’ recovery of 6 UH-1H to UH-1 Plus. Instead, it will be the pulsar that will make up the 12 UH-1H airframes to deal with US-donated turbines and parts of the cheap one, i.e. the FAS cemetery itself, and its own warehouses. Two UH-1Ms were also included, and at least two MD500E’s were again just repaired without the associated reset hours and new instruments.

Apparently the relationship with Degani would lead to the processing of three IAI-202 Arava in Israel. Only 13 versions of the IAI-202 were built, and of that line, two were acquired by the Venezuelan Army and one more by Cameron. The Israel Defense Force could not find a buyer for the other 10 and took them on for use in Signal Intelligence (Communications – SIGINT) operations in 1983. Nine of the ten flew to the USA, where they were equipped with various electronic systems and on-board systems of American origin in order to carry out the secret service mission. The ten aircraft would be retired in 2004 and dumped on one side of the international airport, where they remained until 2007 when five fuselages were restored, three for the FAS and two for national museums. The rest was melted down for scrap. In addition to the YS-07N / 801, the YS-08N / 802 and the YS-09N / 803 arrived in El Salvador in 2008. One of them would be quickly separated to serve as a source of parts. These aircraft are still in service but have a short lifespan due to their age and are extremely expensive to operate as they are the only IAI-202 in service along with Cameron and one in Venezuela. In addition, there are no sources of spare parts as only 13 were built. The troops therefore have to resolve the inclusion of new aircraft at short notice. We suggested Cessna C-408 for this, but at least three or four C-23B Sherpa could be traded in the short term.

The Navy

Similarly, the Naval Force (FNES) continues to wait for appropriate patrol assets and is expecting the NCPV to arrive very soon. The La Huella newspaper reported that Defense Secretary Ren Merino Monroy had reported on the latest practices that members of the FNES had carried out with US Navy personnel on the high seas. In particular, FNES units, including PM13 and two Boston Whalers, had conducted a combined maritime interdiction exercise with the US Navy’s LCS1 Freedom on the high seas.

The FNES is known to be lacking ocean patrol funds. The NCPV is a coast guard, three of which are required instead of one to operate between the 12 nautical miles and while the older ones are rebuilt to operate at the 3 nautical miles level. The oceans are yet to operate up to 200 nautical miles.

Photo: FAES 38 – the only operational MD500E in El Salvador (J Montes)

PM8 (FNES)

PM15 (Colombian Navy)

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