Thursday, March 19, 2015

Armed MD-530 Helicopters Delivered

Six MD-530 Armed Helicopters Arrive (Photo 438th AEW)
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received delivery on March 18, 2015 the first six armed MD-530 helicopters. These small helicopters will be used for close air attack and other missions by the AAF. View photos of the arrival posted to Facebook by the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing. There are currently unarmed MD-530 helicopters being used primarily for pilot training at Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan. A few factors have prodded the U.S. military to put weapons systems on the MD-530. The shelf life of the five Mi-35 Attack Helicopters is ending in 2016 (unless future plans change that). Of these five the AAF is lucky to have 2 or 3 flying at any given time. In addition, the fielding of the A-29 Super Tucano - a close air support aircraft - has been significantly delayed by U.S. Air Force mismanagement and Congressional meddling. The fact that the U.S. has withdrawn much of its close air support platforms and very rarely provides close air support to the Afghan security forces is an additional factor as well. Read more about the MD-530F Helicopter at the link below:

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