Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) Orders Six Armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Attack Helicopters

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has requested for the acquisition of six armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters from MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI). The contract which was awarded through the U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) was issued against its 5-year, $1.4 billion light scout attack helicopter IDIQ contract and includes initial logistics support (ILS) for the aircraft, aircraft systems and ground support equipment.



Initial deliveries for the helicopters is expected to take place in April 2019, with all aircraft delivered prior to the August 2019 contract completion date.

According to Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc., he explained that MD Helicopters “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.”

“This aircraft will be an exceptional addition to the KDF fleet,” Tilton concludes. “It is effective, efficient, and a proven performer in combat operations. It is gratifying to see this iconic airframe rise, once again, to be the standard for light scout attack helicopter operations worldwide.”


The IDIQ Contract vehicle ensures an estimated quantity of up to 150 armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior and/or MD 530G attack helicopters are available to U.S. 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.

In addition to an advanced, all-glass cockpit and ballistic ally tolerant crash-worthy fuel system, Kenya’s MD 530F Cayuse Warrior fleet will be outfitted with the full complement of mission equipment standard to the Cayuse Warrior:

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


Kenyan Air Force New Acquisitions

This sale will significantly enhance the Kenyan Army’s modernization efforts, boost critical operations against al-Shabaab and support its African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM mission). Additionally, The MD 530F will replace Kenya’s aging MD500 fleet operated by the 50th Air Cavalry Battalion.

Recall that in May 13, 2017, Kenya Defence Force requested to purchase of 12 MD 530F helicopters from the United States, at a proposed cost of $253 million including weapons, ammunition and technical support.

In September, 2018 the Kenyan Air Force acquired four (or more) AS350 Ecureuil helicopters from UAE. Photos posted on Twitter shows four recently delivered AS350 Ecureuil (Fennec) helicopters.

Additionally, Kenyan Air Force acquired AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter donated by Jordan, videos and photos appeared online showing Kenyan Air Force personnel examining and offloading an American made AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

Also, the Kenyan Air Force has decided to go for the new re-branded AT802L Longsword Counter Insurgency aircraft having scrapped the deal it had with IOMAX Air Tractor Archangel aircraft. Kenya Air Force will acquire the aircraft with the new wings says L3’s Vice President Pat Penland. He also said that his company is working round the clock to fulfill Kenya’s Order since the country ‘desperately’ needs it to combat Al Shabbab terrorists and the aircraft order will be fulfilled within months.

The Kenyan Air Force has also received about three C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft and an undisclosed number of AW139 utility helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters ordered by the government to boost its operational capabilities. This was revealed in a new report submitted to the parliamentary public accounts committee by the Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich.

According to the report, the C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft were acquired for Sh20 billion (S$198 448 276) from an Italian aircraft manufacturer.


The MD 530F CAYUSE WARRIOR SCOUT ATTACK HELICOPTER

MD 530F Cayuse Warrior

The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Scout Attack Helicopter is an  evolution of the OH-6 Cayuse light observation helicopter, it MD 530F is fast, agile and has the  ability to operate with ease in confined spaces.

The Armed MD530F Light Scout Attack Helicopter delivers increased operational capabilities, greater mission versatility and superior performance in the execution of a broad range of mission profiles. 

ESTIMATED PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES

MAX GROSS WEIGHT: INT 3,300 LB
MAX GROSS WEIGHT: EXT 3,750 LB
USEFUL LOAD 2,159 LBS
HOVER-IN GROUND EFFECT 16,000 FT
HOVER-OUT GROUND EFFECT 14,400 FT
MAX CRUISE SPEED 135 KT
SERVICE CEILING 16,000 FT
RANGE 235 NM

About the Author

Patrick Kenyette
Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor

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