The Afghan Air Force will equip its MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters with air-to surface rockets.
The MD Helicopters will be equipped with seven-tube M260 launcher for the 70mm (2.75 inch) rockets under a US $13.2 million contract awarded by the US Army, US department of Defense said in a statement Monday.
The upgrade will be carried out on 19 helicopters added to the Mission Equipment Package (MEP) that already features twin FN Herstal 12.7 mm (.50 cal) Heavy Machine Gun Pods (HMPs). The installation that includes fixed forward weapon sights is said to be completed by 12 July 2016.
The Afghan Air Force is expecting to receive additional 20 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters from US by the end of this year. The Pentagon had awarded MD Helicopters Inc. a US $44.2 million contract to develop and provide an armament package for the MD-530F helicopters that were already supplied to the Afghan Air Force.
Afghan Air Force has already received six MD-530F helicopter and is expecting to receive up to 54 more helicopters under the 4 year contract.
Afghan Air Force is also expecting to receive 20 A-29 Embraer Super Tucano light air support aircraft which will replace the Mi-35 attack helicopter that reaches the end of its service life in January 2016.