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Nigeria selects Cayuse Warrior Plus light attack helo

The Nigerian Army has selected the armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Plus to meet its rotary-winged counter-insurgency requirement. (MD Helicopters)

Nigeria has selected the MD Helicopters (MDH) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Plus (CWP) light attack helicopter, it was announced on 7 March.

The Arizona-based company said it is to supply 12 CWP helicopters to the Nigerian Army “to assist in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations”. MDH did not disclose a contract value or delivery timeline.

Previously referred to as the MD 530F+, the CWP standard features a number of enhancements and modifications over the baseline MD 530F Cayuse Warrior in terms of armour, avionics, sensors, weapons systems, and increased power performance.

Specifically, these comprise built-in ballistic tolerance in the structure from early stage in manufacturing, and a different avionics package supporting the Moog weapons management system. It features the Wescam MX-10D sensor turret, and can carry unguided and guided rockets, and gun pods (though not presently guided missiles).

The CWP is based on the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior that in its military guise has been sold to date to Afghanistan, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia. Lebanon has also acquired the MD 530F+, while separately Malaysia has acquired the MD 530G, which MDH is no longer focused on marketing.

Specifications earlier released by MDH give the MD 530F-series a maximum gross weight of 1,700 kg, a useful load of 780 kg, a service ceiling of 16,000 ft, a hover-in-ground effect of 14,400 ft, a hover-out-of-ground effect of 14,000 ft, a range of 574 km, and a maximum cruise speed of 110 kt.

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