MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) announced on March 7 that the Nigerian Army had placed an order for 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior Plus light attack/scout helicopters in an effort to bolster its counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations in-country.
While MDHI did not disclose the value of the contract or outline a delivery timeline, the Arizona-based helicopter manufacturer stated that the aircraft “will be used for area security, tactical reconnaissance, convoy escort and drug interdiction missions in Nigeria.” The firm added that, alongside the 12 Cayuse Warrior Plus helicopters, the contract includes a complete integrated logistics support package, along with associated spares, a flight training device, and pilot and maintainer training services.
Commenting on the acquisition, Brad Pedersen – president and CEO of MDHI – said: “We are grateful for the trust of the Nigerian government and are pleased to showcase our purpose-built light attack aircraft solution to Nigeria and the world.”
On the same day, MDHI announced it has ramped up its production capabilities by restructuring its production facility and plans to hire more than 120 new employees to support the work carried out on the additional, large aircraft orders that MDHI envisages. “[MDHI] has streamlined our production processes to directly address the current and planned increase of aircraft orders,” Pedersen added.
Previously designated the MD 530F+, the Cayuse Warrior Plus is a more advanced and modified variant of the baseline MD 530F Cayuse Warrior. It features enhanced sensors, avionics and weapons systems, along with increased armour and power performance. The platform is also fitted with the Moog weapons management system and a Wescam MX-10D sensor turret. Based on the baseline MD 530F – which was sold to Afghanistan, Kenya and Saudi Arabia – the Cayuse Warrior Plus is also able to carry a mix of both guided and unguided rockets and gun pods