US firm ordered to manufacture 12 additional copters for AAF
KABUL (Pajhwok): A US-based firm says it has received orders to deliver a dozen additional armed scout helicopters to the fledgling Afghan Air Force (AAF).
The fixed price contract to manufacture 12 attack helicopters with enhanced mission equipment for the AAF was awarded to MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) by the US Army.
The company delivered the first 12 helicopters to the AAF in support of the 2015 fighting season. These twelve aircraft were operational in fewer than 9 months from contract award.
A statement from MDHI on Monday said the new Cayuse Warrior Scout Attack helicopters would meet the needs of the 2016 fighting season in Afghanistan.
MDHI Chief Executive Officer Lynn Tilton said: “The MD 530F has played an integral role in building the capabilities of the AAF and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces since the first aircraft arrived in Shindand in 2011.”
In both training and combat configurations, the fleet has consistently maintained a mission launch rate of greater than 97 percent, the official added.
The deal was contracted through the US Army’s Non-Standard Rotary Wing. The company said all 12 aircraft would be delivered in-theatre in less than a year.
According to the statement, the choppers are equipped with 50 calibre gun pods, 2.75 inch rocket capability, ballistics protection and tactical communications systems.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.