The United States Embassy in Nairobi announces the sale of six MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) made possible through the United States Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program. Kenya originally ordered the six MD 530F helicopters in 2018. The U.S. State Department had previously approved the potential sale of up to 12 MD 530s to Kenya in May 2017 to replace the KDF’s MD 500s. The proposed $253 million sale included 4,032 M151 high-explosive warhead rockets, 1,536 2.75-inch M274 smoke signature warhead rockets, and 400,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition. The contract includes initial logistics support, aircraft systems and ground support equipment.
U.S. Army Major General Michael D. Turello, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), attended the ceremony. U.S. Ambassador Kyle McCarter hailed the purchase as an important moment in the U.S.-Kenya relationship. CJTF-HOA supports the Kenya Defence Forces in its fight against the Somalia-based al-Shabaab Islamist militant group. Kenya contributes to the African Union’s AMISOM mission against the group. The sale of the helicopters is representative of the U.S. “total package approach” of the United States Foreign Military Sales program, which includes not just the equipment but also a comprehensive spare parts and multi-year sustainment package to ensure the longevity of the aircraft.
Based on the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse single-engine light helicopter, the MD 530F delivers increased operational capabilities, greater mission versatility and superior performance in the execution of a broad range of mission profiles. Equipment fitted to Kenya’s MD 530F Cayuse Warriors also includes the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System, along with an FN Herstal Weapons Management System, DillonAero Fixed-Forward Sighting System, FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 machine gun pods and M260 7-shot rocket pods. The MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters delivers increased operational capabilities, greater mission versatility and superior performance in the execution of a broad range of mission profiles.