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Afghanistan receives first Black Hawk helicopters
October 16, 2017
Afghan Air Force UH-60A+. Photo source: U.S. Air Force

Afghanistan receives first Black Hawk helicopters

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has taken delivery of its first four Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk transport and utility helicopters from the U.S. The announcement was made by the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, which released photos of AAF UH-60As being off-loaded from a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17.

In November 2016, the U.S. announced that it will procure, refurbish and upgrade 53 surplus U.S. Army UH-60As for the AAF. The U.S. intends to replace Afghanistan’s Mi-8/Mi-17 transport helicopters (of which there are fewer than 100 in service) with the UH-60A. Afghanistan could ultimately receive 159 UH-60As. One of the goals of the program was to have U.S. aid and assistance programs benefit the U.S. economy.

These will join 30 additional MD Helicopters MD-530F Cayuse Warrior (to join the AAF’s existing 27 MD-530Fs) armed scout helicopters and the remaining eight of 20 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano turboprop-powered close air support (CAS) attack aircraft.

With TAAC-Air [Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air] spearheading AAF training and maintenance support efforts, the U.S. is trying to optimize the AAF for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. This has seen the AAF induct the MD-530F and the A-29 for CAS, with the A-29 also being available to carry out precision-guided air strikes. While AAF crews are gradually assuming more of the support responsibilities, TAAC-Air is expected to remain for the foreseeable future, though it intends to shift most of the maintenance load to the AAF. TAAC-Air intends to see the AAF manage 80% of the A-29’s maintenance work by 2022.

  • Jigsaw

    LOL. Can’t believe US and Afg would see this day too. Probably will manage to crash it somehow before it sees any active duty.

    • Faisal

      According to Wikipedia Afghans have 82 Mi 8/17. about 11 Mi 24. if they have managed to fly them , then American equipment should be more reliable ,no? I dont think challenge is technology or staff training here. Its political. Successful COIN activities require enough support on the ground. If a shoulder fired SAM can popup from anywhere then nobody would want to be a sitting duck.

  • bill

    May be time to open eyes of Pak planners, as Pak should also have sufficient military power near Afghan and Irani border.

    Especially Afghans getting Black Hawks along with MD530F may try to strike Pak border area just happened at Chamman Border.

  • Rizwan

    “One of the goals of the program was to have U.S. aid and assistance programs benefit the U.S. economy.” It has ALWAYS been the goal of ALL US aid and assistance programs to benefit the US economy. Read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins

  • sami shahid

    Lol what a stupid decision…. how can Blackhawk be a good replacement of MI-17 ? Hahahaha

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