Afghanistan is to receive a further 12 MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft, to add to the 60 already delivered.
MDHI has received orders for a total of 72 MD 530F helicopters from Afghanistan since 2011, of which 67 will be operational with the Afghan Air Force once deliveries are complete. (438th Air Expeditionary Wing)
The announcement of the additional purchase on 27 November came just two days after MDHI said that it had completed deliveries of 60 helicopters that were ordered across different batches from 2011.
Under the latest procurement, which was ordered by the US Army under a wider USD1.4 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) effort for allied nations, the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will have 67 MD 530Fs in service taking into account battlefield losses and training accidents.
MDHI did not disclose when deliveries of the latest batch will commence and be concluded.
All MD 530Fs (known as ‘Jengi’ [Warrior] in AAF service) are equipped with a ‘glass’ cockpit (the older aircraft having been upgraded to this standard). They also have a ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system that features self-sealing fuel cells; crashworthy bladders compliant to MIL-DTL-27422 (the standard for crash- and ballistic-resistant fuel systems); gravity feed auxiliary fuel transfer; compatibility with the 38-gallon Little Bird Auxiliary Tank System (LBATS); accessibility for easy maintenance; and ‘combat proven performance’.