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Finland modernises its MD 500s

17th November 2020 - 15:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

Cabin upgrade to ‘significantly’ increase operational performance, says Finnish Defence Forces

MD 500 light helicopters operated by the Finnish Army are undergoing a cabin upgrade.

The upgrade ‘significantly increases the operational performance of the helicopter’, the Finnish Defence Forces announced on 16 November.

All aircraft will be able to fly with night vision devices and encrypted voice communications, and flight management capabilities will be overhauled to enable special operations. 

‘In the cockpit, the flight control gauges have been replaced by an electronic multifunction display, which will facilitate the training of pilots in the future when switching to NH90 equipment’, the Finnish Defence Forces added.

MD 500s are used in Finland for training as well as passenger transport, SAR and various undisclosed tactical tasks. 

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the helicopters were due to be taken out of service in 2022; however, the fact they are undergoing a cabin upgrade and repainting suggests will remain in use beyond that date.

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