<summary>MD-530F Cayuse Warrior Afghanistan - April 2015 -(out of service 2021?)</summary>
<detail>MD-530F Cayuse Warrior (Little Bird Lite) helicopters were supplied to the Afghan air force in some numbers (60+) from April 2015.
Armament was limited to FN 2 x HMP-400 12.7mm gun pods or twin 7 rocket Hydra pods.
Electronics and EW systems appear very limited although it may have had NVG compatibility it does not appear to have been used.
Basic air frame is a straight lift of DB3k entry #1593 - AH-6M Little Bird MELB [MD-530F] (United States - 0) but lacking optronic systems, guided weapons and EO turret.</detail>
Numbers still in service are conjecture post Taliban but are likely to be small and decreasing, plus some may be amalgamated into the air arms of the countries to which the air force relocated, significant numbers went to Uzbekistan.
https://youtu.be/uUvtMSj3908 Shows Hydra 2 x 7 pods. And 1 x HMP400 1 X Hydra
https://www.mdhelicopters.com/afghan-air-force-to-expand-fleet-of-md-530f-cayuse-warrior-helicopters.html Seems only supporting HMP-400 AND Hydra.
According to Colonel Qalandari, Afghan Air Force pilot, “It’s unsafe to fly, the engine is too weak, the tail rotor is defective and it’s not armored. If we go down after the enemy we’re going to have enemy return fire, which we can’t survive. If we go up higher, we can’t visually target the enemy".
Indeed, the helicopters lack proper gun sights for their two .50 caliber machine guns, as I was able to personally witness during a battle that I describe in detail in this month’s The Diplomat Magazine. The helicopters periodically appeared in the sky over contested mountains, but had difficulties locating and attacking ISIS positions with their weapons.
Extracts from above references of interest:
In service 8th April 2015.
Afghan Air Force unveils its newest Close Air Attack Helicopter. HD Video by Airman 1st Class Eric Mann | U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs | Date: 04.08.2015. Afghan Air Force MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter pilots and their advisors from the Train, Advise, Assist Command - Air, prep and practice for the MD-530F Rollout ceremony to be conducted the following day at Kabul Afghanistan International Airport, Apr. 08, 2015.
From product info from manufacturers:
Max Gross Weight: Int. 3,300 lb / 1,496 kg
Useful Load 2,159 lb / 979 kg
Service Ceiling 16,000 ft / 4,876 m
Max Cruise Speed 110 kt / 203 kph
HOGE 14,400 ft / 4,389 m
HIGE 16,000 ft / 4,877 m
Range 235 nm / 435 km
MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter can be armed with FN HMP400 LCC (link and case collector) coaxial air weapon system developed by FN Herstal. The machine gun pod is equipped with a M3P .50cal FN machine gun. The weapon system supports all types of NATO ammunition 12.7 mm x 99 mm. The FN HMP400 has a full weight of 138 kg and a storage capacity of 400 rounds of ammunition. The weapon system can shoot at speeds of around 1,100 revolutions per minute.
Thanks for considering, also supplied to KENYA.
< Message edited by KLAB -- 10/13/2021 8:15:43 PM >