Increasing Hostilities, New and Emerging Threats Warrant Accelerated Training of Afghan Pilots; MD 530Fs Offer Most Effective, Efficient Solution
MD Helicopters’ ongoing commitment to delivering high-performance rotary wing aircraft solutions to the U.S. military continue to strengthen U.S. Aviation industry
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) was recently awarded a firm fixed price contract to manufacture and deliver twelve (12) MD 530F aircraft for the Afghan Air Force. This is an Option award to the Department of the Army Non–Standard Rotary Wing (NSRW) Aircraft Contract for provision of Primary Training Aircraft (PTA). The exercise of this Option is a reinforcement of the U. S. Army’s confidence in MD Helicopters’ ability to deliver reliable, mission-ready aircraft, training, logistics and support to the United States Military and our Allies.
“We are honored to receive this award from Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft Project Office,” said Lynn Tilton, Owner and Chief Executive Officer of MD Helicopters, Inc. “The MD 530F has proven to be an exceptional aircraft for the Afghan Air Force; playing an integral role in readying Afghan pilots to fly reconnaissance, scout and transport missions in support of critical engagements resulting from increasing threats.”
Since the first MD helicopters arrived in Shindand in 2011, Afghan pilots have logged more than 5,700 hours flying the MD 530F in the performance of initial entry rotary wing training. Equipped with the 650 shp Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine and longer main-rotor blades, the MD 530F is world renown as a reliable high-altitude, hot-day performer, perfectly suited for the conditions found in the Afghan theater.
Known for speed, safety, agility and the ability to operate with ease in confined spaces, the MD 530F delivers increased operational capabilities and greater mission versatility and performance. These twelve (12) MD 530Fs will be initially configured to train Afghan pilots for operation in austere flight conditions. Designed for easy modification in response to changing threat levels, these aircraft will be reconfigured to operate the weapon systems necessary to deliver mission-specific light attack capabilities.
“The OH-6 Cayuse, the platform on which the MD 530F is based, is a legendary aircraft,” Ms. Tilton concludes. “This helicopter is an icon within rotary wing aviation; an enduring example of MD Helicopters’ is committed to serving the U.S. military and Allied forces who serve, protect and defend our freedoms. With this award, we are proud to deliver to the U.S. Army a critical resource in support of a critical need, and are ready to provide enhanced mission capabilities as required.”
This program, as a result of MDHI’s sound and strategic supplier relationships and focused management practices, is currently ahead of schedule. MDHI is on track to deliver the first six (6) new MD 530Fs to Afghanistan in the first quarter of 2015, with the balance set to be in country by mid-year.