Afghan Air Force (AAF)

WolfPack86

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Afghan Military to stick to Russian-made Helocraft
Despite the ongoing modernisation of Afghanistan’s military and, in particular, the Afghan Air Force (AAF), Kabul seems to retain it’s Soviet- and Russian-made utility and combat rotorcraft in service.

In 2014, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a program worth some USD7 billion to upgrade the AAF’s rotary-wing inventory: Kabul, which had been operating the Mil-family gunships and transport helicopters since the late 1980s, was offered to switch to Sikorsky UH-60A+ multimission helicopter. Two years later, the proposal went ahead and the DoD announced its intention to fully replace the Soviet-/Russian-made rotorcraft in service with the AAF. Washington was originally planning to ship 159 UH-60A+s to Kabul; however, by mid-2020, this number had dropped to 53 rotorcraft due to financial reasons. Then the DoD decided to replace the Russian-made rotary-wing platforms of the Afghan military’s Special Mission Wing (SMW) and supply it with 20 Boeing CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor transport rotorcraft.

According to US DoD’s Acting Inspector General Sean W. O’Donnell’s report on operations in Afghanistan between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020, to Congress, in December 2019, Washington did not change its plan and proceeded with the replacement of the combat-proven Mil rotorcraft by 53 UH-60A+s. Moreover, the SMW was set to switch from its Mi-17s ‘Hip’ to Chinooks by 2023, completing the so-called ‘modernisation’ of the AAF rotary-wing inventory.

It should be mentioned that this upgrade was primarily driven by political concern, not operational evaluation or any economic and technical reasons. UH-60A+ is a slightly modernised variant of the baseline UH-60A Black Hawk and poorly suits to the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan that regularly sees rapid changes of temperature, low humidity, and hot and dusty climatic conditions.

Being powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, a UH-60A+ has a modest payload capacity – the helicopter can transport a cargo of no more than 8,000 lb (some 3,600 kg; due to a restricted cargo cabin, the weight of the cargo that can be transported inside the rotorcraft is even less) or 11 fully equipped servicemen. The platform is also unstable at medium altitudes and cannot reliably fly in the thin air of Afghanistan’s mountaintops; therefore, it cannot be operated throughout the whole country.

Considering the poor performance of the UH-60A+ in mountains, one should worry why the DoD heavily insists on the replacement of the reliable Mi-17-family utility rotorcraft by refurbished Black Hawks. The Mil platform has revealed its outstanding flight performance in mountainous terrains of Afghanistan since the early 1980s. The latest iteration of the platform, Mi-17V-5‘Hip-H’, transports a 4,000 kg cargo (or 36 fully equipped servicemen) inside its crew cabin.

Moreover, the Mi-17V-5 features far better reliability and serviceability.

According to Donnell’s report, Afghan technicians had mastered 95% of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) works on the Mil platform by March 2020. The report’s figures speak for much easier maintenance of the Mi-17V-5: in December 2018, Afghans were capable of performing 80% of technical works, and by March 2020 this figure increased to 95%. In December 2018 – March 2020, the AAF did not train even one technical specialist to maintain the UH-60A+s. “Afghans still do not perform any maintenance on the UH-60 helicopters,” says the document. Therefore, the replacement of the Afghan Mi-17V-5 by the US-made rotary-wing platform is senseless in terms of logistics.

There also some problems related to the delivery of Black Hawks to Afghanistan. The AAF is reported to have received no more than 17-18 UH-60A+s by early 2020, and the delivery rates are not ramped up. The Afghan pilots complain about low payload capacity, poor reliability, difficultness-of-operation, high fuel consumption, and poor flight performance of the Black Hawk in the mountains. At the same time, the Mi-17 is reported to be capable of conducting almost any tasks under the complex climatic conditions of Afghanistan.

Much has been written on the easy maintenance of the Russian-made rotorcraft, but there is a case that vividly illustrates it. During a conflict in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, the Northern Alliance’s pilots were flying a Mi-17 utility helicopter that had one of its engines replaced by a powerpack from a Mil Mi-24 gunship. According to Steve Coll’s book ‘Ghost Wars’, this platform had been being operated for several years with no accidents.

The AAF also flies some Mi-24 transport-combat helicopters. By October 2019, India had handed over four refurbished Mi-24Vs ‘Hind-D’ to the Afghan government. According to Indian officials, the rotorcraft will allow Kabul to maintain robust counter-terrorism capabilities. The DoD is trying to replace the Mi-24s with A-29 Super Tucano light ground-attack aircraft; however, these efforts have not been fruitful up to date: the operational costs of the Super Tucano are relatively high and cannot beat those of the Mi-24. The aircraft also requires highly trained pilots and technicians, while the Mi-24 is capable of flying on a wing and a prayer.

Within this context, any attempts to scrap robust Soviet- and Russian-made combat and utility helicopters in the AAF’s inventory appears to be politically motivated as the UH-60A+s and A-29s poorly suit the conditions of Afghanistan and cannot fulfil operational tasks to the full extent. The continuation of the use of Mi-17s and Mi-24s seems to be the AAF’s only way to secure skies, support troops, and establish a well-balanced transport system inside the country.
 

Tshering22

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Afghan Military to stick to Russian-made Helocraft
Despite the ongoing modernisation of Afghanistan’s military and, in particular, the Afghan Air Force (AAF), Kabul seems to retain it’s Soviet- and Russian-made utility and combat rotorcraft in service.

In 2014, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a program worth some USD7 billion to upgrade the AAF’s rotary-wing inventory: Kabul, which had been operating the Mil-family gunships and transport helicopters since the late 1980s, was offered to switch to Sikorsky UH-60A+ multimission helicopter. Two years later, the proposal went ahead and the DoD announced its intention to fully replace the Soviet-/Russian-made rotorcraft in service with the AAF. Washington was originally planning to ship 159 UH-60A+s to Kabul; however, by mid-2020, this number had dropped to 53 rotorcraft due to financial reasons. Then the DoD decided to replace the Russian-made rotary-wing platforms of the Afghan military’s Special Mission Wing (SMW) and supply it with 20 Boeing CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor transport rotorcraft.

According to US DoD’s Acting Inspector General Sean W. O’Donnell’s report on operations in Afghanistan between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020, to Congress, in December 2019, Washington did not change its plan and proceeded with the replacement of the combat-proven Mil rotorcraft by 53 UH-60A+s. Moreover, the SMW was set to switch from its Mi-17s ‘Hip’ to Chinooks by 2023, completing the so-called ‘modernisation’ of the AAF rotary-wing inventory.

It should be mentioned that this upgrade was primarily driven by political concern, not operational evaluation or any economic and technical reasons. UH-60A+ is a slightly modernised variant of the baseline UH-60A Black Hawk and poorly suits to the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan that regularly sees rapid changes of temperature, low humidity, and hot and dusty climatic conditions.

Being powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, a UH-60A+ has a modest payload capacity – the helicopter can transport a cargo of no more than 8,000 lb (some 3,600 kg; due to a restricted cargo cabin, the weight of the cargo that can be transported inside the rotorcraft is even less) or 11 fully equipped servicemen. The platform is also unstable at medium altitudes and cannot reliably fly in the thin air of Afghanistan’s mountaintops; therefore, it cannot be operated throughout the whole country.

Considering the poor performance of the UH-60A+ in mountains, one should worry why the DoD heavily insists on the replacement of the reliable Mi-17-family utility rotorcraft by refurbished Black Hawks. The Mil platform has revealed its outstanding flight performance in mountainous terrains of Afghanistan since the early 1980s. The latest iteration of the platform, Mi-17V-5‘Hip-H’, transports a 4,000 kg cargo (or 36 fully equipped servicemen) inside its crew cabin.

Moreover, the Mi-17V-5 features far better reliability and serviceability.

According to Donnell’s report, Afghan technicians had mastered 95% of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) works on the Mil platform by March 2020. The report’s figures speak for much easier maintenance of the Mi-17V-5: in December 2018, Afghans were capable of performing 80% of technical works, and by March 2020 this figure increased to 95%. In December 2018 – March 2020, the AAF did not train even one technical specialist to maintain the UH-60A+s. “Afghans still do not perform any maintenance on the UH-60 helicopters,” says the document. Therefore, the replacement of the Afghan Mi-17V-5 by the US-made rotary-wing platform is senseless in terms of logistics.

There also some problems related to the delivery of Black Hawks to Afghanistan. The AAF is reported to have received no more than 17-18 UH-60A+s by early 2020, and the delivery rates are not ramped up. The Afghan pilots complain about low payload capacity, poor reliability, difficultness-of-operation, high fuel consumption, and poor flight performance of the Black Hawk in the mountains. At the same time, the Mi-17 is reported to be capable of conducting almost any tasks under the complex climatic conditions of Afghanistan.

Much has been written on the easy maintenance of the Russian-made rotorcraft, but there is a case that vividly illustrates it. During a conflict in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, the Northern Alliance’s pilots were flying a Mi-17 utility helicopter that had one of its engines replaced by a powerpack from a Mil Mi-24 gunship. According to Steve Coll’s book ‘Ghost Wars’, this platform had been being operated for several years with no accidents.

The AAF also flies some Mi-24 transport-combat helicopters. By October 2019, India had handed over four refurbished Mi-24Vs ‘Hind-D’ to the Afghan government. According to Indian officials, the rotorcraft will allow Kabul to maintain robust counter-terrorism capabilities. The DoD is trying to replace the Mi-24s with A-29 Super Tucano light ground-attack aircraft; however, these efforts have not been fruitful up to date: the operational costs of the Super Tucano are relatively high and cannot beat those of the Mi-24. The aircraft also requires highly trained pilots and technicians, while the Mi-24 is capable of flying on a wing and a prayer.

Within this context, any attempts to scrap robust Soviet- and Russian-made combat and utility helicopters in the AAF’s inventory appears to be politically motivated as the UH-60A+s and A-29s poorly suit the conditions of Afghanistan and cannot fulfil operational tasks to the full extent. The continuation of the use of Mi-17s and Mi-24s seems to be the AAF’s only way to secure skies, support troops, and establish a well-balanced transport system inside the country.
But didn't the Hinds suffer in Soviet-Taliban war due to their altitude limitations in Afghanistan? I vividly remember footage of Soviet Hinds doing takeoff runs in a documentary. Not a good thing for a gunship.
 

patriots

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Afghanistan Buy 50 JF17 Thunder Jets From Pakistan,
Bhai put this post in jokes thread
The YouTube r says ... Afghanistan wanted to buy 50 jf 17...but Pakistan knew that....it's funded by India....they rejected the request
Further he says India wanted to get the technologies involved in jf17 so they were funding the deal.....
Atleast please check the video content .. before posting
 

WolfPack86

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Afghanistan’s Air Force Receives Five More MD-530F Helicopters
The five helicopters are part of a $1.4 billion contract for the delivery of an estimated 150 armed MD-530 rotorcraft to Afghanistan by 2022.

Arizona-based U.S. defense contractor MD Helicopters, Inc., announced the delivery of another batch of five MD-530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) on November 22. According to a press statement, the light attack helicopters were delivered to Kandahar via a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft on October 27 and reassembled for active service within ten days.

The five MD-530Fs are part of a follow-on batch of 30 helicopters ordered by the U.S. Army under a wider $1.4 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract issued in September 2017.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the 2017 contract entails the “procurement of an estimated quantity of 150 MD 530F aircraft and required production support services to include program management, delivery support, pilot training and maintenance” by September 2022.

With the latest shipment, “MD Helicopters has successfully met all requirements of IDIQ [Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity Contracts] Delivery Order 1, and the number of MD 530F training and combat aircraft delivered to the Afghan Air Force has reached 60,” according to a company press release.

There are currently around 50 MD-530Fs operationally deployed by the AAF in Afghanistan. Some AAF pilots have criticized the size and capabilities of the helicopters in the past.

All MD-530F helicopters currently in service with the AAF are equipped with a so-called Enhanced Mission Equipment Package (EMEP) that includes a ballistic crash worthy fuel system, FN Herstal Weapons Management System, DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) weapons plank and Fixed-Forward Sighting System, Rohde & Schwarz M3AR Tactical Mission Radio, and FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods and M260 7-shot rocket pods, according to MD Helicopters, Inc.

The next MD-530F batch will consist of 24 helicopters, the company said on November 22.

In October, the AAF also took delivery of the last two of four retrofitted Mi-24V attack helicopters from India. New Delhi delivered the first two Mi-24Vs in May earlier this year. As I explained previously:

The Indian government had delivered a total of four Mi-25 (Mi-24D) helicopters and three HAL Cheetah light utility helicopters to the AAF by the end of 2016.
All seven Indian-supplied helicopters, in addition to five Mi-35 helicopters supplied by the Czech Republic in 2008, however, have been grounded due to missing spare parts and technical problems.
To bridge the air power capability gap, Afghanistan, Belarus, and India signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding regarding the purchase of the four Mi-24Vs in 2018, with the Indian government covering all expenses related to the procurement.
The AAF also deploys Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft for strike missions.
 

WolfPack86

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Afghans to receive first C-130 aircraft from US Air Force
KABUL — After nearly a year of relying on helicopters for the bulk of its air cargo transportation, the Afghan Air Force will receive its first C-130H Hercules transports early next month.

The U.S. Air Force is slated to give the Afghans four C-130H aircraft. Two of those aircraft will be delivered on Oct. 10, the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan announced on Wednesday.

The U.S. military scrapped the Afghan air force’s entire fleet of 16 Italian-made C-27A cargo planes last year after maintenance problems grounded the aircraft.

The U.S. spent nearly $600 million on the C-27A program, but the contractor was unable to maintain the planes. Many of the Italian-made twin-turboprop C-27As now sit unused at the airfield in Kabul. The C-27As replaced a fleet of Antonov An-32 tactical transports the Afghans had successfully used.

The U.S. has promised to deliver at least four of the larger, four-engine C-130 aircraft. The next two aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2014, according to NATO officials.
 
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WolfPack86

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US Delivers C-130H Hercules To Afghan Air Force
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received its fourth and final Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft from the US.

The air force announced that the aircraft was received at Hamid Karzai International Airport (IAP) on Saturday. The arrival of the former US Air Force aircraft from Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas marks the end of deliveries, which began in mid-2013.

These C-130s are the Afghan Air Force’s first four engine aircraft with this type of expanded capability,” said Denver native Lt. Col. Tyler Faulk, deputy director of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan’s Security Assistance Office.

These aircraft will now be used by the Afghan National Security Forces for internal cargo and troop transportation for executing missions, trainings and exercises.

“Afghanistan needs to perform more missions and having a fourth C-130 allows for that,” said Afghan Air Force Capt. Muhammad Azimy, a C-130 pilot.

“We need to support more troops, moving them as soon as possible from one point to another, getting them into the fight faster. Getting commandos from the north to the south by helicopter would take days, but by C-130 it will take only a few hours.” The pilot added.
 

WolfPack86

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MD-530 Light Scout Attack Helicopter – Live Fire Training In Afghanistan
A-29 Super Tucanos & MD 530F Attack Helicopters in Action - Close Air Support Training
 

Compersion

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Must be useful to be able to locate and identify the supply chain of drugs from Afganistan to Pakistan and more. The supply of such assists and support Pakistan to innumerable heights.

When will Afganistan be less known about Opium and drugs - that is when the above will be valid. Pakistan wanting control over Afganistan is not for other reasons. The most profitable business of Pakistan? Would be wonderful for Bharat to assist and support the Afganistan addiction to move away from the Opium trade.

Afganistan is located nearby to central Asia. How about Afganistan deal in good drugs and be a logistical partner of Bharat ... no that would be good? Jai Hind.

 
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WarriorIndian

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Must be useful to be able to locate and identify the supply chain of drugs from Afganistan to Pakistan and more.

When will Afganistan be less known about Opium and drugs - that is when the above will be valid. Would be wonderful for Bharat to assist and support the Afganistan addiction of the Opium trade.
India will be careful in arming Afghanistan. We dont want to make an enemy of Taliban. We have enough open fronts and dont want to add up to it.
 

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