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MD Helicopters receives order for six Kenyan MD530Fs

An MD530F.MD Helicopters has received an order to deliver six MD530F Cayuse Warrior armed light helicopters for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), after Kenya requested 12 of the type in May 2017.

Arizona-based MD Helicopters on 27 September said it had received a second Delivery Order issued against its five-year, $1.4 billion light scout attack helicopter IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity) contract from the US government on Kenya’s behalf. The firm, fixed-price includes initial logistics support (ILS) for the aircraft, aircraft systems and ground support equipment.

The contract was awarded through U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Initial deliveries will take place in April 2019, with all aircraft delivered prior to the August 2019 contract completion date, MD Helicopters said.

“We look forward to delivering these MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Kenya Defence Forces, enhancing their ability to provide close air support and over-watch for ground operations,” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters.

The IDIQ contract vehicle ensures an estimated quantity of up to 150 armed MD530F Cayuse Warrior and/or MD530G attack helicopters are available to US and Partner Nation Military Forces. With the issuance of Delivery Order 2, MD Helicopters is currently under contract to deliver a total of 36 armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters. The first delivery order was for MD530s for the Afghan Air Force – deliveries of these started on 8 August 2018.

MD Helicopters said that in addition to an advanced, all-glass cockpit and ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system, Kenya’s MD530F Cayuse Warrior fleet will be outfitted with the full complement of mission equipment standard to the Cayuse Warrior. This includes:

FN Herstal Weapons Management System
DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS)
DillonAero Fixed-Forward Sighting System
62mm ballistic armour protection
FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods
M260 7-shot rocket pods

The KDF’s six armed MD 530F aircraft will also include an enhanced communication system that features the Harris RF-7850A tactical radio and the Rockwell Collins HF-9000D.

In May 2017 Kenya requested the purchase of 12 MD530F helicopters from the United States, at a proposed cost of $253 million including weapons, ammunition and support. At the time, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the deal would include 24 Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) 400 systems; 24 M260 rocket launchers; 4 032 M151 rockets; 1 536 2.75-inch M274 smoke signature warhead rockets; and 400 000 rounds of .50 calibre ammunition.

“The proposed sale of the MD 530F helicopters, weapons, ammunition, support items and technical support will advance Kenya’s efforts to conduct scout and attack rotary wing aircraft operations in support of their AMISOM mission. The MD 530F will also replace Kenya’s aging MD500 fleet, which is the current reconnaissance platform supporting Kenyan ground forces. This sale will significantly enhance the Kenyan Army’s modernization efforts and increase interoperability with the US Armed Forces and other partners in the region. Additionally, a strong national defence and dedicated military force will assist Kenya in its efforts to maintain stability in East Africa,” the DSCA said.

The MD530F as an evolution of the OH-6 Cayuse light observation helicopter that goes back to the Vietnam War. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engine producing 317 kW at takeoff and giving a cruise speed of 248 km/h with a maximum range of 430 km and a service ceiling of 5 700 m. The helicopter can carry a 980 kg external load.

The armed MD530F has been deployed by the Afghan Air Force since 2011.


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