The Atlanta Police Department in Georgia has signed a $10 million purchase agreement for two MD 530F helicopters with the manufacturer. Additionally, the department has signed an agreement to convert one of its MD 500E helicopters to an MD 530F through MDH's FAA-approved E-to-F conversion programme.
“The purchase of two new MD 530Fs and the upgrade of our MD 500E to an MD 530F will standardise and modernise our fleet, reducing risk, improving safety and increasing operational efficiency at a low operating cost,” says APD aviation unit sergeant Newman. “This will allow the helicopters to be airborne more frequently, contributing to the department's mission of creating a safer Atlanta.”
The two new MD 530F helicopters will be delivered in 2023. The MD 500E will remain in service until the 530Fs are operational, after which time it will go through a three month conversion process.
Updated from the MD 500E, the MD 530F model delivers increased operational capabilities, greater mission versatility and superior performance with a more powerful RR250-C30 engine, upgraded main rotor gearbox and upgraded tail rotor drive shaft. The E-to-F conversion programme upgrades the MD 500E to an MD 530F by replacing the engine, gearbox and drive shaft as well as adding new main and tail rotor blades. All three Atlanta Police Department aircraft will feature a higher 3,350 lb gross weight, increased cruise speed, improved flight characteristics in confined areas and lower direct operating costs compared to the older aircraft.
Each of the department's technologically advanced MD Helicopters will also include a tactical mapping system, an IR-capable camera system, a searchlight and a downlink system.