MD Helicopters has completed the initial delivery of the new-generation MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Afghan Air Force as part of a $1.4bn contract.

The indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract was originally awarded in September last year for a period of five years.

Under the deal, MD Helicopters carried out the delivery of the first five of the 30 new MD 530F aircraft that are slated to enter into service with the Afghan Air Force’s Aviation Unit this year.

MD Helicopters chief executive officer Lynn Tilton said: “It is an honour to deliver these first five of 30 new Cayuse Warrior aircraft to the Afghan Air Force in support of their vigilant efforts to protect their country and their citizens in the global fight against terror.”

“The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has played a critical role in creating an effective, efficient, and sustainable airforce in Afghanistan.”

The multipurpose helicopter features the company’s newly certified glass cockpit fitted with advanced technologies.

The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior fleet also comprises a ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system, including a main fuel tank and a 38-gallon auxiliary fuel tank.

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Tilton added: “The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior has played a critical role in creating an effective, efficient, and sustainable airforce in Afghanistan.

“It has been a proven performer in support of training and combat operations since joining the Afghan fleet, and has evolved to become the standard for light scout attack helicopter solutions worldwide.”

The company will deliver an estimated 150 armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior and / or MD 530G attack helicopters to the US and partner nation military aviation forces.

The 9.8m-long MD 530F Cayuse Warrior is an armed version of MD Helicopters’ OH-6 Cayuse light observation aircraft and can be used to improve the scout attack, armed escort and close air attack capabilities of the Afghan Air Force.