MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced on September 10 the delivery of the first five (5) out of the initial order of 30 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack and reconnaissance helicopters to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The helicopters are fitted with Enhanced Mission Equipment Package (EMEP) and the baseline Mission Equipment Package (MEP) comprises the FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) fitted with M3 12.7 mm (.50 calibre) machine gun.
The order worth $1.4 billion IDIQ, the first batch reached Kandahar on August 8, 2018, delivered in less than 10 months from September 2017 when the contract was awarded.
These aircraft are the first of a new generation of MD 530F Cayuse Warriors with MDHI’s newly certified glass cockpit that incorporates;
- Howell Instruments Electronic Engine Instruments and Crew Alert System (EICAS).
- Garmin G500[H] TXi Electronic Flight Instruments (EFIS) with Touchscreen GDU 700P PFD/MFD.
- Garmin GTN 650 Touchscreen NAV/COM/GPS.
- L-3 ESI 500 Electronic Standby Instrument.
- Mission Equipment developments for the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior also consist of a ballistic-tolerant crashworthy fuel system, including both the main fuel tank and a 38-gallon auxiliary fuel tank.
The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has played a critical role in creating an effective, efficient and sustainable air force in Afghanistan.
The MD 530F as an evolution of the OH-6 Cayuse light observation helicopter that goes back to the Vietnam War. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engine producing 317 kW at takeoff and giving a cruise speed of 248 km/h with a maximum range of 430 km and a service ceiling of 5 700 m. The helicopter can carry a 980 kg external load.
The armed MD 530F has been deployed by the Afghan Air Force since 2011.
Remaining aircraft deliveries on this initial contract delivery order are on track to be complete well in advance of the September 2019 contract date.