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Afghan Air Force receiving MD Helicopter's 530F aircraft
by Richard Tomkins
Mesa, Ariz. (UPI) Oct 6, 2014

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

MD Helicopters Inc. reports the U.S. Army has exercised a contract option for the supply of a dozen MD 530F aircraft to the Afghan Air Force.

The helicopters will be initially configured to train Afghan pilots and later will be reconfigured to operate weapon systems for light attack capabilities.

"The OH-6 Cayuse, the platform on which the MD 530F is based, is a legendary aircraft," said Lynn Tilton, owner and chief executive officer of MD Helicopters. "This helicopter is an icon within rotary wing aviation; an enduring example of MD Helicopters' (commitment) 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."

The MD 530F has a maximum speed of 175 miles per hour, a range of 267 miles and a service ceiling of 16,000 feet. It has been used for pilot training by the Afghan Air Force since 2011.

MD said it will deliver the first six aircraft in the first quarter of 2015. The remainder will be delivered by the middle of the year.

The value of the firm-fixed-price contract was not disclosed.


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