ABOVE: The Atlanta Police Department is also converting one of its MD 500E helicopters to an MD 530F

MD Helicopters (MDH) has announced that the Atlanta Police Department has signed a USD$10 million purchase agreement for two MD 530F helicopters. Additionally, the department 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 converting it to an MD 530F, will standardise and modernise our fleet, reducing risk, improving safety, and increasing operational efficiency at a low operating cost,” said Sgt. Newman of the Atlanta Police Department, Aviation Unit. “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. At that time the 500E will go through a three-month conversion process.

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 1,520kg gross weight, and include a tactical mapping system, an IR-capable camera, searchlight, and downlink system.