MD 500 Defender

MD 500 Defender

Infobox Aircraft
name= MD 500 Defender

type=Light multi-role helicopter
manufacturer= Hughes Helicopters McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems MD Helicopters, Inc.
first flight= 1976
primary user=
more users=
number built=
unit cost=
developed from = MD Helicopters MD 500
variants with their own articles=

The MD Helicopters MD 500 Defender is an American light multi-role military helicopter. Based on the MD Helicopters MD 500 light utility helicopter.

Design and development

The original OH-6 Cayuse helicopter proved its worth during the Vietnam War in the light helicopter role. The designers at Hughes realized there was a market for a light multi-mission helicopter with an improved equipment fit than the OH-6 and Model 500M. The resulting design was the Model 500MD Defender which first flew in 1976. It was tailored for specific roles including unarmed observation and an armed scout helicopter equipped with TOW anti-tank missiles. An anti-submarine version was developed with a search radar, magentic anomaly detector and the capability to carry lightweight torpedoes.

The helicopter was popular with customers like Kenya who could buy a capable anti-armour helicopter for less than half the cost of a gunship such as the Bell Cobra or the AH-64 Apache. Israel used the Defender extensively during the conflicts of the late 1970s and 1980s against Syrian armored forces.

The Defender was later built as an improved version as the MD530, with increased engine power, handling, avionics, and a redesigned forward fuselage. Later developments included a mast mounted sight, also known as MMS (also found the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior)


;500D Scout Defender:Armed reconnasissance version;500M Defender:Military export version of the 500 and 500C, built under licence by Kawasaki in Japan (as the OH-6J)Frawley, Gerard: "The International Directiory of Military Aircraft", page 97. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2002. ISBN 1-875671-55-2] and Breda Nardi in Italy.;500M/ASW Defender:Export version for the Spanish Navy.;NH-500M Defender:Italian-built version of the 500M Defender. Licensed by Breda Nardi before merge with Agusta. [ [ The MD Helicopters MD-500/530.] Retrieved on January 16, 2008.] ;500MD Defender:Military version of the 500D.;500MD/ASW Defender:Maritime version of the 500MD Defender.;500MD/TOW Defender:Anti-tank version of the 500MD Defender, armed with TOW anti-tank missiles.;500MD/MMS-TOW Defender:Anti-tank version, fitted with a mast-mounted sight, armed with TOW anti-tank missiles.;500MD Quiet Advanced Scout Defender:Fitted noise suppression equipment.;500MD Defender II:Improved version.;500MG Defender:Military version of the 500E.;520MK Black Tiger:Korean-built military version. Said to be made by Korean Air Aerospace Division [ [ Korean Air Aerospace Division (KAA)] Retrieved on January 9, 2008.] , Korean Air's aerospace division from 1976 to 1984 with 200 choppers made. [ OH-6A Cayuse, AH-6J Little Bird and Defender 500 specs.] Retrieved on January 9, 2008.] 50 were armed with TOW anti-tank missiles with 150 choppers used for transportation and support duties [ OH-6A Cayuse, AH-6J Little Bird and Defender 500 specs.] Retrieved on January 9, 2008.] .;530MG Defender:Military version of the 530F.;MD530 Nightfox:Nightattack version.;MD530MG Paramilitary Defender:Police or border patrol version.


*Chilean Army operates 17 x MD-530MGs. ;COL
*Colombian Air Force operates 12 x 500MDs.;IRQ
*Iraqi Air Force operates 30 x 500MDs.;ISR
*Israeli Air Force operates 30 x 500MDs.;KEN
*Kenya Air Force operates 15 x 500MDs.;KOR
*Republic of Korea Army operates 207 x 500MD / 50 x 500MD TOW Defenders.;ZAF
*South African Police Service operates 5 x 500MDs.;MEX
*Mexican Air Force;MAR
*Royal Moroccan Air Force operates 24 x 500MDs.;ROC
*Republic of China Navy operates 12 x 500MDs (ASW version).;USA

pecifications (500MD)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop

crew= 1-2
capacity= 4-5 passengers
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 23 ft 0 in
length alt= 7.01 m
span main= 26 ft 4 in
span alt= 8.03 m
height main= 8 ft 6 in
height alt= 2.59 m
area main= 544.63 sq ft²
area alt= 50.60 m²

empty weight main= 1,320 lbs
empty weight alt= 599 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 3,000 lbs
max takeoff weight alt= 1361 kg
more general=

engine (jet)=
type of jet=
number of jets=
thrust main=
thrust alt=
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
engine (prop)= One Allison 250-C20B
type of prop= Turboshaft
number of props= 1
power main= 420 hp
power alt= 313 kW
power original=

max speed main= 160 mph
max speed alt= 257 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 230 miles
range alt= 370 km
ceiling main= 13,800 ft
ceiling alt= 4,205 m
climb rate main= 1,650 ft/min
climb rate alt= 503 m/min (8.4 m/s)
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

* four TOW anti-tank missiles, or
* two 7.62mm General Electric M134 Miniguns, or
* four General Dynamics Stinger air-to-air missile, or
* Mk 44 or Mk 46 lightweight torpedoes (ASW Version), or
* two seven-shot rocket pods




ee also

* Hughes H-6
* OH-6 Cayuse
* MD Helicopters MD 500
* MD Helicopters MD 600
* MH-6 Little Bird

similar aircraft=
* Aérospatiale Gazelle AH.1/SA 341F/SA 342M
* MBB Bo 105P PAH

* 269 - 300 - 369 - 500 - 520 - 530 - 600 - 900 - 902


see also=
* MD Helicopters

External links

* [ MD 500 Defender page on]
* [ IDF Defenders in action]

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