MD Helicopters, October 09, 2014 - MEZA, Arizona - MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) has been awarded a firm fixed price contract valued at $44.2 million for the procurement, installation, integration and testing of mission equipment package (MEP) weapon systems onto 17 MD 530F helicopters.
All testing and modification of the 17 aircraft fleet will occur at MD Helicopters’ Mesa, Ariz., facility.
U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal will manage the contract on behalf of the Afghan Air Force (AAF).
An evolution of the fabled OH-6 Cayuse light observation helicopter, the MD 530F is world renowned as a fast, reliable high-altitude, hot-day performer. The AAF has operated five MD 530F helicopters in the performance of initial entry rotary wing training since 2011. An Option Award on Sept. 19 expanded the AAF fleet to 17 MD 530Fs.
With this contract to integrate mission equipment packages on the full complement of MD 530Fs, the U.S. Army and the AAF, in response to the drawdown of coalition forces in the region, have taken the next step in developing a formidable close attack capability to support the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF); thereby delivering a critical operational capability requirement identified by the International Security Assistance Force-Afghanistan (ISAF-A).
"The OH-6 Cayuse has been recognized as an icon of the Army’s rotary wing fleet for nearly 50 years," said MD Helicopters' chief executive officer Lynn Tilton, "From its ability to perform fast, difficult maneuvers in compact space, to its unmatched safety record, the MD 530F is a mission proven performer in its own right. The armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior will be force multiplier for the Afghan Air Force. Perfectly suited for the demands of modern warfare, the Cayuse Warrior fleet will expand armed escort, scout attack and close air attack capabilities in support of an increasing operational tempo in the region. We are honored to have been selected to deliver this enhanced capability."
The armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior will feature performance enhancements and a custom mission equipment package that includes:
In anticipation of this effort, MDHI has already engaged strategic suppliers to procure all required mission equipment.
"The FN HMP400 pod is a unique 'all-in-one' weapon system, featuring the 1,100 RPM FN M3P (.50 cal) machine gun, a 400 round ammo box, a firing solenoid and a re-cocking actuator, all mounted within an aluminum and composite frame assembly," says Anne Devroye, product communication manager for FN Herstal. “The pod is connected to the MD 530F through 14 inch NATO suspension lugs allowing the helicopter to be mission ready in less than 30 seconds."
As a result of the company’s leading stature within the global rotary wing aviation market, and focused management practices, MDHI anticipates weapons systems integration and testing to begin as early as November 2014. All aircraft will be complete and delivered by September 2015.
About MD Helicopters, Inc.: MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), a Lynn Tilton company, is a leading manufacturer of commercial, military, law enforcement and air-rescue helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world renowned for its value, versatility and performance. The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer, and single engine versions of the MD 600N, MD 520N, MD 500E MD 530F, MD 530G and MD 540A. The innovative NOTAR system for anti-torque control with no tail rotor is used exclusively by MD Helicopters to provide safer, quieter and confined-area access capability
About FN Herstal, S.A.: FN Herstal, S.A., a subsidiary of the Herstal Group, is based in Belgium and is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of small caliber weapons, integrated weapon systems and associated ammunition for Military and Law Enforcement as well as Special Forces Operators worldwide. FN Herstal has success fully equipped defense professionals with state-of-the-art weapons and associated products for 125 years. Its solid reputation can be attributed to its rigorous professional ethics, its ongoing effort to achieve foremost quality and its commitment to efficient service and outstanding customer support.