U.S. purchase for the young democracy more Mi-17
As reported by the October issue of the journal noble Air Forces Monthly, July 8 Afghan Air Force delivered two new Mi-17 helicopter, which arrived in Kabul on board a military transport aircraft An-124. The helicopters belong to the batch of 10 helicopters (the amount of the contract is $ 155 million) and will join the already available to Afghans 25 helicopters of this type. All 10 helicopters to be delivered by November 2010 Merchant is not called — the magazine implies that they were probably from the secondary market, because one of the 2-supplied helicopters were painted in pure white color, and on board below the cockpit was applied modification of an old name — Mi-8T. Other helicopter carrying Afghan markings on it was applied two-tone brown camouflage, which was adopted for all the not so long ago set the Mi-17.
Subsequent deliveries of Mi-17V-5, according to the magazine, also made: for example, new helicopters b / n 702 and 705 were seen on July 29 in the area of Jalalabad on relief efforts in flood-affected areas. Perhaps they belong to the newest games, board numbers that begin with the number 701. Since the hull numbers of Afghan Air Force usually assigned alternately, one can imagine that not so long ago were put at least 5 helicopters. This year's South American Naval Air Command (US Naval Air Systems Command) has issued a request to purchase an additional 21 Mi-17V-5 or E-172 for the Air Force in Afghanistan. The magazine includes ambulances delivery, although the evidence that the contract is not. So Makar, nedavneshnie supply helicopters may not be the case for this search.
Recovery of Afghan Air Force began in 2005 like all other newly created security forces in Afghanistan, the Air Force is very dependent on advisers and trainers from NATO (NATO Training Mission / Combined Security Transition Command — Afghanistan).
Within this framework, there is a part of the Air Force Mixed Transition (Combined Air Power Transition Force, CAPTF), which is responsible for training, education and assistance to the Afghan Air Force in developing its orgshtatnyh structures and aircraft fleet, staff training, upgrading databases and infrastructure support in conducting operations. Most of the councilors CAPTF serve 438 air expeditionary wing of the U.S. Air Force, but also are involved in the military air force of Canada, the Czech Republic, and since then, nedavneshnih and Hungary.
Whole fighting capacity of the Afghan Air Force initially was concentrated in the Kabul Air Wing (Kabul Air Wing); evenly some of its aviation units were located in different parts of the country. Kabul wing consists of 3 Squadron 377 helicopter, 373 aircraft and presidential squadron. In Kabul, is also training center Air Force.
As of December 1, 2009 at the Afghan Air Force, there were 2,851 people and 45 aircrafts, including 22 air assault Mi-17 and three presidential, nine Mi-35 attack for a specific fire support, two military transport aircraft Alenia C-27A (out of 20 converted former Italian Air Force transport G-222), 5 PTS An-32 and An-26 only. Three of training L-39C are currently being stored at the base of the Afghan Air Force base at Kabul International Airport. Until now, the vast majority of the personnel of the Air Force as previously attributed to the Kabul air wings, the current from the Kabul airport. Of this wing is separated into groups based in Mazar-e-Sharif (Balkh province) and Herat (Herat province), in which, according to the Air Forces Monthly, there are errant number of Mi-17.
By 31 October 2010 the number of Air Force should reach 4417 people and 73 aircraft, including an increased number of C-27, Mi-17 and L-39. Detachment in Herat get third Mi-17, unchanged squad will be created in Shindade, Jalalabad and Gardez (province Paktriya, two Mi-17). Squad in Shindade should be strengthened and a one — two years to be reincarnated as the third wing of the Afghan Air Force. In the future air base in Shindade become the center of the flight personnel, which will take place training pilots, flight engineers, doctors and gunners. For lack of a rapidly increasing in the Afghan Air Force's own training center part of the flight crew, pilots in the main, a couple of years back started to study abroad. First, in 2010 the first pilots and flight engineers have graduated from a training course in the United States and England.
Announced in 2009 plans to anticipate the growth of the Air Force up to 8017 people and 152 aircraft by 2016, not counting the air wings in Kabul, Kandahar and Shindade also groups in Gardez, Herat, Dzhelalbade and Mazar-e-Sharif, will be created eight time units across the country, including the already existing at the airport Farah (Farah). Park LA is likely to be expanded through new training helicopters and airplanes e original and basic training, reconnaissance and light transport aircraft (eg, Cessna 208 Caravan), light attack aircraft (can be L-39 or L-159).
Write-off of the last An-26 is scheduled for 2011, the end of 2012 to be followed by the An-32. By this time, to be delivered all 20 C-27A, including 18 in the transport and modification of two presidential unit. Because of the expected shortage of spare parts is expected to write off all E-35 no later than 2016 Current plans call for their replacement by armed Mi-17, which will allow to unify the Park attack helicopters, making it the same type.
As for proficiency, the Associated Press quoted the commander of the 438 Wing Bouira Michael (Michael Boera), which responsible for training Afghan pilots: "They are good at something that used to (easy day flights in bad weather is not to address the transportation and logistics problems). But they are quite unable to fly on devices and NIGHT MODE. They also do not have the experience of combat missions. "
First training flight in black time of day with the introduction of a pilot night vision device took only not so long ago — on August 22 this year According Bouira, "real Afghan pilots will be able to fly in just a few years."