The first Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack and reconnaissance helicopters for Saudi Arabia have arrived in-country, the US Army confirmed to Jane’s on 5 June.
Of the first batch of 12 helicopters for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), nine have been delivered. The remaining three have been temporarily retained in the United States for training purposes, and will be followed at a later date to complete the current order of 24 helicopters.
The commencement of deliveries to Saudi Arabia comes some 10 months after the SANG formally accepted the type in August 2016. The 24 helicopters on order will be used to equip the 1st Aviation Brigade fully at Khashm Al An airfield near Riyadh, and the 2nd Aviation Brigade at Hofuf on the country’s east coast. The SANG is also standing up and the 3rd Aviation Brigade, Aviation Support Brigade (ASB), at Jeddah on the west coast, and a training unit designated the 4th Aviation Brigade is being stood up at Dirab, on the outskirts of Riyadh (this unit will likely be equipped with the 12 MD Helicopters Inc MD 530F training helicopters that were delivered in 2013).