MD Helicopters ramps up production as Nigerian order lands
US-based MD Helicopters (MDH) has announced it is scaling up production line capacity and increasing staffing as additional sales orders come in for the company.
These include 12 Cayuse Warrior Plus scout/attack helicopters ordered by the Nigerian Army ordered for use on domestic counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
The aircraft will be operated on area security, tactical reconnaissance, convoy escort and drug interdiction missions. The Nigerian contract includes a complete ILS package, spares, pilot and maintainer training and a flight training device.
MDH said it has restructured its production facility and is planning to hire 120 more employees to support the production of the new aircraft.
This will allow the company to deal with additional, larger orders, as well as to engage with potential customers.
‘MD Helicopters has streamlined our production processes to directly address the current and planned increase of aircraft orders,’ MDH president and CEO Brad Pedersen noted in a statement.
The Cayuse Warrior Plus light scout reconnaissance and attack helicopter no longer bears an MD530F series designation.
The company takes the MD530 airframe at an early point on the production line and makes major changes.
These include strengthening of the airframe to cope with more taxing military operations, new bulkheads, a ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system, high-capacity landing gear and new fairings that allow the doors to be closed when weapons are carried.
The maximum weight of the MD530F is 1,700kg, it has a useful load of 980kg and a top speed of 135kts.
The MD530F model is currently in operation in Afghanistan, Chile, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
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