• Saturday, November 17, 2018

MDHI to deliver armed ‘Little Bird’ helos to Kenya, Lebanon

Discussion in 'Arab Defence Forum' started by Zarvan, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    MDHI has announced sales of six MD 530G (pictured) helicopters for Lebanon and six MD 530F helicopters for Kenya. Source: MDHI

    MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) is to deliver 12 of its MD 530F/G scout and light-attack platforms to Kenya and Lebanon as part of a wider US Army effort to equip allied air arms with up to 150 ‘Little Bird’-series rotorcraft.

    Under the awards, announced by MDHI on 27 September and 1 October, six MD 530F helicopters will be delivered to Kenya by the end of August 2019 and six MD 530G helicopters delivered to Lebanon by the end of September 2020. The sales are part of a wider USD1.4 billion deal awarded by the US Army in September 2017 to deliver up to 150 MD 530F/G helicopters to allied air arms over a five-year period. The helicopters for Kenya and Lebanon sold under this indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) award follow a previous sale to Afghanistan for 30 MD 530Fs.

    The MD 530F and MD 530G are both based on the same Model 369FF ‘Little Bird’ airframe, with the chief differentiators between them being the enhanced stores management system of the MD 530G coupled with its ability to employ guided munitions. The MD 530G comes with a full ‘glass’ cockpit as standard (it is an option on the MD 530F), as well as a chin-mounted L3 Wescam MX-10D electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor and target designator. While the MD 530F features a two-station weapons plank and the MD 530G having a four-station plank, the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) fitted to both the Kenyan and Lebanese platforms features a six-station weapons plank instead.

    For Kenya, the deal covers half of the 12 helicopters that were approved by the State Department in May 2017. While MDHI’s contract notification makes no mention of the outstanding platforms, a follow-on contract is likely as part of the wider US Army ID/IQ award to the company. Kenya’s MD 530F helicopters will be fitted with the FN Herstal Weapons Management System, the DillonAero MCAS, the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system,; 7.62 mm ballistic armour protection, FN Herstal 12.7 mm HMP 400 machine gun pods, and M260 seven-shot pods for 70 mm unguided rockets.

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