Saturday, March 7, 2015

A-29 CAS Aircraft to be Fielded Dec 2015

A recent press report says that a few of the twenty A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft for the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will start to arrive in Afghanistan in December 2015. This will be just in time for the 2016 fighting season. However, the bulk of the aircraft won't be deployed until 2017 and 2018. The ANSF will have to rely on a variety of stop-gaps until the A-29's arrive and are integrated into combat operations. Some of those stop-gaps were described by General Campbell during his recent testimony before Congress on March 4, 2015 as use of Quick Reaction Forces (QRFs), employment of artillery fires (D-30 122mm Howitzer), employment of organic mortars (82mm Mortar), and the helicopters in the AAF armed with weaponry (such as the Mi-35, MD 530s, and Mi-17s). The fielding of the A-29s was caught up in a contract dispute aggravated by congressional members who were playing politics. Read more in "Afghan Military to Receive A-29 Close Air Support Planes in December",, March 5, 2015.

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