MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) said it has been awarded a $14.2 million fixed-firm contract from the U.S. Army to provide logistics support operations of rotary wing primary training aircraft and flight training devices for the Afghan Air Force.

All the work will be performed in Shindand, Afghanistan in support of the Primary Rotary Wing Training Aircraft MD 530Fr helicopters. Support work under the contract includes maintenance training, factory spare parts, specialized tooling, on site field service, maintenance facilities and logistics coordination.

“This contract award trusts us with the support and ongoing service of the MD 530Fr aircraft to be delivered in the region for multiple years. We look forward to meeting the needs of our new customer in Afghanistan,” Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners and MD Helicopters, said in a Sept. 27 statement.

The first three MD 530Fr helicopters were presented to the Non Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft Project Office of the U.S. Army on Sept. 13. Officials attending included Army Maj.Gen. William Crosby, program executive officer, aviation.

Tilton said, “This delivery and ceremony symbolizes our commitment to the U.S. Army to meet its needs and our dedication to the American Soldier to provide the aircraft that will be part of the plan to bring them home. We struggle to find the words to express our appreciation for the opportunity to serve this honored customer.”

The initial award is for six MD 530F Helicopters for training purposes and could reach as many as 54 aircraft over the four-year contract. The Army contract includes flight training devices and comprehensive spares provisioning.

The production effort is currently 45 days ahead of schedule, facilitating helicopter delivery to begin only six months after contract award.

The MD 530F is a perfect fit for this training mission, the company said in a statement. Equipped with the 650 ship horsepower Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine and longer main-rotor blades, the MD 530F is the company’s legendary high-altitude, hot-day performer.

The MD 530F is a dependable workhorse with greater take-off power at significantly higher hover ceiling levels than same-class competitors, with hover out-of-ground performance at 14,400 feet ISA and in-ground-effect hover capability of 16,000 feet ISA, the company statement said. The helicopter is known for its speed, agility, low direct operating costs and the ability to operate with ease in confined spaces.