Mar 20, 2015
Afghanistan receives first armed MD 530
The first six MD 530F at an undisclosed location - most likely Shindand Air Base in Herat Province, where the current trainer fleet is located - aboard a Boeing 747 freighter the previous night.
These helicopters will now be reassembled over the coming weeks before being pressed into fire support for the Afghan National Security Forces.
The armed MD 530s will operate alongside the machine-gun-equipped Mil Mi-17 'Hip' and machine gun and rocket-equipped Mi-35 'Hind' helicopters, as well as the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop aircraft, due to arrive towards the end of 2015.
The AAF already operates five MD 530F helicopters as trainers. The armed helicopters are fitted with M3 12.7 mm (.50 calibre) machine gun. .