Monday, December 5, 2022

MD Helicopters unveils next evolution of attack helicopter at HAI Heli-Expo 2019

U.S. defense contractor MD Helicopters has unveiled the armed-variant of its rotorless, twin-engined MD902 Explorer helicopter during the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo 2019 convention at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Helicopter maker displayed a new weaponized configuration, called the MD 969, that is developing for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programme. The new helicopter represents the future assault and attack capabilities of this proven and powerful light twin-engine aircraft.

“The MD 969 will deliver a new level of multi-mission capabilities for military operators,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc. “As the premier light twin-engine helicopter in their class, MD 900-series aircraft deliver excellent maneuverability, unmatched safety, and impressive endurance to support a wide range of operations. Enhancements delivered in the MD 969 will further solidify this elegant aircraft as the definitive choice for an ever-expanding range of military and paramilitary operations.”


The MD 969 Combat Helicopter receive the Genesys Aerosystems Advanced IDU-680 integrated all-glass cockpit. This system is a highly capable and customizable next-generation glass cockpit solution that is also the avionics system of choice for MD Helicopters’ MD 530G Attack Helicopters.

“I am excited to deliver the innovative, leap-ahead capabilities of the Genesys glass cockpit system to our MD 902 and MD 969 operators,” Tilton continues. “This evergreen open architecture solution will provide enhanced accessibility to critical data for operators all across the globe.”

The Genesys systems delivers on-demand access to Automatic or Manual Revisionary Modes, 3D Synthetic Vision, Geo-Referenced Hover Vector, Night Vision A&B Capabilities, Weather Radar Integration, Integrated ADS-B Traffic Display, Engine Instrument Crew Advisory System (EICAS), Flight Data Recording, Graphical FMS/VHF Navigation, an internal radio, and moving maps.

In addition to advanced avionics, the MD 969 Combat Helicopter also features a proprietary, MDHI-designed integrated composite weapons plank that allows for greater operational flexibility and expanded mission capabilities. The integrated plank allows for up to 6-station, fixed-forward weapons installation while maintaining unimpeded, full-cabin access to support simultaneous forward fire, crew-served weapons, and personnel transport missions.

The up-to-8-seat MD 969 Combat Helicopter is single-pilot IFR certified, and safely and effectively executes a broad range of military, para-military and utility missions including Fast Attack, Combat Search & Rescue, CASEVAC/MEDEVAC, Command & Control, and Personnel Transport.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.