MD Helicopters wins $1.3Bn order to provide Afghanistan with 150 MD530F choppers

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MD Helicopters wins $1.3Bn order to provide Afghanistan with 150 MD530F choppers
The US-based helicopters maker MD Helicopters has been awarded a $1,385 foreign military sales contract for procurement of an estimated quantity of 150 MD 530F light multirole helicopters, the US Department of Defense announced on Sept. 5.
AAF MD 530F light attack helicopters
(Credit: MD Helicopters)
This Contract is recognition of our ability to rapidly respond to the needs of our military customers,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MDHI, “and a testament to the effective, efficient role the MD 530 Armed Scout Attack Helicopters play in the global fight against terror. It is MDHI’s great honor to continue to serve and support the Warfighter."

The first Deliveries under the Contract will be thirty (30) new MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters for the Afghan Air Force. Valued at $176.6 million, these first aircraft will be configured with MDHI’s newly certified Block 1 glass cockpit, featuring the Howell Instruments Engine Instrumentation System, Garmin GDU 620 Electronic Flight Instruments, Garmin GTN 650H Communication/Navigation/Global Positioning System (COM/NAV/GPS), and Northern Airborne Technology Cabin Audio System.

Mission Equipment for these aircraft will include a ballistic crash worthy fuel system, consisting of a main fuel tank and a 38-gallon Auxiliary Fuel Tank, high capacity landing gear, FN Herstal Weapons Management System, DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) weapons plank and Fixed-Forward Sighting System, Rohde & Schwarz M3AR Tactical Mission Radio, and FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods and M260 7-shot rocket pods.

The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has been a proven performer in support of ground operations and in the execution of close air support interactions since it first arrived in Kabul,” Tilton continues. “It is extremely gratifying to see that our focus on quality, technology, and rapid delivery has resulted in such a significant contract; one that solidifies MDHI’s position as a preferred provider of armed scout attack helicopter solutions.

“Serving the Warfighter is our legacy. It is at the heart of who we are as a company,” Tilton concludes. “We are honored to have received this contract and the initial Delivery Order for Afghanistan, and remain steadfast in our commitment to rapidly delivering safe, reliable, and customizable armed scout attack helicopter solutions that meet a full range of mission profiles.”

MD Helicopters wins 1 3Bn order to provide Afghanistan with 150 MD530F choppers 640 002 MD 530F light attack helicopters
(Credit: MD Helicopters)
This order also includes required production support services to include program management, delivery support, pilot training and maintenance. Delivery will be completed date of Aug. 31, 2022.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is the contracting activity, the US DoD added.

Afghanistan took delivery of four more MD 530F light attack helicopters in August 2016, bringing the AAF total number of MD 530Fs to 27.

Afghan Air Force's MD 530F light attack helicopters performed their first combat operation on August 11, 2015. The MD 530F rotorcraft flew alongside the Afghan Air Force’s Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters based at Kabul as part of Operation Iron Triangle.

An evolution of the well-known OH-6 Cayuse light attack and reconnaissance helicopter, MD Helicopters' MD 530F platform is powered by Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engine. The MD 530F can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 248 km/h within a maximum range of 430 km and a service ceiling of 5,700 m.