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MD-530 helicopters to join Air Force Thursday

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The McDonnell Douglas (MD-530) helicopters are set to officially join the Afghan Air Force (AAF) on upcoming Thursday.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Saturday that the helicopters will enter service during a ceremony which is scheduled on Thursday, 9th of April.

The capabilities of the AFF are expected to receive a boost with the addition of the helicopters.

The Afghan Air Force received the first six armed MD-530s last month with the NATO Train, Assist, Advise Command-Air and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing. The armed MD-530s will increase the Afghan Air Force aerial fires capability, the ministry said.

Armed Mi-17s and MD-530s give the Afghan Air Force six times the number of armed aircraft for Fighting Season 2015 as compared to last fighting season, which only employed five Mi-35s.

Pentagon awarded MD Helicopters Inc. a maximum $44.2 million firm-fixed-price contract last year to develop and provide an armament package for the MD-530F helicopters that were already supplied to the Afghan Air Force.

Around 17 of the Afghan Air Force’s MD-530F helicopter will be upgraded under the contract which is expected to be completed early next year.

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