A FOREIGN Military Sales contract was awarded to MD Helicopters of Mesa, Arizona, on September 26 by US Army Contracting Command for the purchase of 12 MD530F helicopters for the Afghan Air Force. The deal is valued at almost $25.7 million. The estimated date for contract completion is September 29, 2015.
The Afghan Air Force will use the helicopters for primary rotary-wing training. A batch of six MD530Fs had previously been ordered by Afghanistan under a contract awarded on March 10, 2011. The new deal exercises 12 of the 48 options on additional helicopters that were included in that original contract.
Those first six MD530Fs were delivered to Afghanistan in 2011, although one has since been lost when it landed on an IED on September 7, 2013, resulting in serious injuries to both crew members. The MD530Fs are flown by the Rotary-Wing Training Squadron at Shindand Air Base. Alan Warnes