KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force this week has delivered the final four of 27 MD-530 Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Afghan air force in the capital city of Kabul.
The helicopters were flown to Afghanistan from Travis Air Force Base in California aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
Like the previous shipment of five MD-530s in July, these newest helicopters have the capability to fire rockets or .50-caliber machine guns. They also have a new sighting system that wasn't on the initial 13 helicopters, according to Lt. Col. Bill Ashford, USAF 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander.
"The first 13 helicopters continue to be modified to support 2.75-inch rocket capabilities and add the improved sighting systems," he said.
The MD-530 is a light helicopter. It is operated by a one- or two-person crew, has a maximum speed of 175 miles per hour, and a range of 375 miles.
"The MD-530s are flying multiple missions a day across Afghanistan," said Ashford. "They are often engaged in providing aerial escort to convoys, providing over-watch to ANDSF operations and responding to 'troops in contact' situations."