Thursday, October 1, 2015
MD Helicopters Defends 530F Viability in Kabul
MD Helicopters has supported the viability of its MD-530F during combat operations in Kabul, Afghanistan, amid recent criticism from Afghan Air Force Col. Qalandar Shah Qalandari that the aircraft's tail rotor, performance limitations and weapons systems were inadequate for conducting combat missions in Kabul's high elevations. MDHI said in a statement that the MD-530F exceeded the customer's requirements in terms of operational range and altitude, and that some of the criticism may stem from pilot preference for the Russian-made Mi-35 that had been a familiar aircraft to many veteran pilots in the region, including Col. Qalandari. "We understand that some Afghan pilots are transitioning from the Mi-35 to the MD-530F and would expect comments to be made based on the performance differences between the two," said the company. "In fact, a number of the Afghan pilots prefer the MD-530F."