The first contract, worth $6.1 million, requires MDHI to retrofit 18 legacy MD 530F helicopters operated by the Afghanistan Air Force with ballistic-tolerant crashworthy fuel systems (CWFS). Jointly developed with Robertson Fuel Systems, the 59-gallon MD 530F CWFS delivers increased safety and survivability in the event of a crash. The system features ballistically self-sealing fuel cells, crash-worthy bladders compliant to MIL-DTL-27422, a gravity-fed auxiliary fuel transfer, compatibility with Robertson’s 38-gallon Little Bird Auxiliary Tank System (LBATS), and combat proven performance. Under the contract, MDHI will perform the retrofit of the CWFS for each helicopter in Afghanistan.
The second contract, worth $6.4 million, modifies MDHI’s original 2018 indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity production contract to supply six aircraft to the Lebanon Air Force. The modification adds instructor pilot flight training, maintenance and armament training for 12 pilots and 16 maintenance technicians from the Lebanon Air Force.
Military-specific training with MDHI helicopter
Training will take place at MDHI’s Flight Training Academy in Mesa, Arizona, which provides military-specific training to customers operating MDHI helicopters. Under the terms of the contract, the academy will provide night vision goggle, standard military instruction, instructor pilot, train the trainer, gunnery, maintenance, armament, and operations in high, heavy, and hot environments training. Performed in two of the Lebanon Air Force’s new MD 530F helicopters, training started this month and takes place through to April 2021. As a part of the contract, MDHI was awarded increased logistics support to include additional spare parts for the six helicopters to help the Lebanon Air Force maintain an exceptionally high level of operational availability.
“These contracts further emphasize the value the US government puts on supporting our allies with the world’s best light attack helicopter – the MD 530F Cayuse Warrior,” said Nick Nenadovic, Vice President, Aftermarket and Customer Support. “As the aircraft’s OEM, we maintain tremendous pride and passion in ensuring the highest level of support for our customers. We are honored to provide that support through these two contracts.”
In September, MD Helicopters received FAA certification to increase its MD530F single engine helicopter’s internal max gross take-off weight (MGTOW) from 3,100 to 3,350 lbs.