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First batch of five MD 530F choppers handed over to Afghan Air Force


MD Helicopters, Inc. on September 10 announced the delivery of the first five (5) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Afghan Air Force in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Ordered against MDHI’s 5-year, $1.4 billion IDIQ, these aircraft are the first of 30 new MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters that will join the AAF Aviation Unit this year.


AAF first five MD 530F Cayuse Warrior attack helicopters being shipped with a US Air Force C 17 Globemaster III airlifter AAF first five MD 530F Cayuse Warrior attack helicopters being shipped via US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III airlifter
(Credit: MDHI)


Delivered in less than 10 months from the September 2017 contract award, the first five aircraft reached Kandahar on August 8, 2018, and were readied for active service in less than 10 days.

The IDIQ Contract vehicle ensures that an estimated quantity of 150 armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior and/or MD 530G attack helicopters are available to U.S. and Partner Nation Military Aviation Forces.  

It is an honor to deliver these first five of 30 new Cayuse Warrior aircraft to the Afghan Air Force in support of their vigilant efforts to protect their country and their citizens in the global fight against terror,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc. “As a proud American manufacturer of the world’s most beloved airframe, our respect for the warfighter and our commitment to delivering effective and efficient attack helicopter solutions is unmatched.

These aircraft are the first of a new generation of MD 530F Cayuse Warriors with MDHI’s newly certified glass cockpit that includes:

- 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 enhancements for the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior also consist of a ballistically 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,” Tilton concludes. “It has been a proven performer in support of training and combat operations since joining the Afghan fleet, and has evolved to become the standard for light scout attack helicopter solutions worldwide.” 

Remaining aircraft deliveries on this initial Contract Delivery Order are on track to be complete well in advance of the September 2019 contract date.