Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Kabul (BNA) The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received its first U.S.-made UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as part of a planned replacement of its aging fleet of Russian-made helicopters.
“The first Afghan Air Force UH-60s arrived today at Kandahar Air Field” in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement late on Monday.
“The AAF is transitioning from the Mi-17 to the UH-60 as part of recapitalization efforts to modernize the helicopter fleet,” it added.
Reports say the United States plans to supply as many as 159 refurbished Black Hawks to Afghanistan in the coming years to replace Afghanistan’s Soviet-era Mi-17s, whose age makes them increasingly difficult to maintain.
Bolstering the Afghan Air Force is a central part of President Ashraf Ghani’s four-year road map to improve the country’s security forces as the government is struggling to beat back insurgents in the wake of the exit of most NATO forces in 2014.