Thursday, April 23, 2015

AAF Hind Gunships: Little Time Left

Mi-35 Gunships Going Away. The Pentagon doesn't want to do business with Russia anymore. This has an effect on the Afghan Air Force which depends on Russian built and maintained helicopters for its Afghan Air Force. One of these helicopters is the Russian 'flying tank' or Mi-35 Hind Attack Helicopter. These Mi-35s will probably not be flying a year from now as they are getting old and falling apart. At one time the AAF had nine Mi-35s but since then they are at between 2 and 4 that are actually flying. Many of the Hinds were cannibalized for spare parts. The U.S. has decided to provide the Afghan Air Force with the MD-530F (made by an American firm of course). The AAF will receive a total of 12 armed MD-530Fs and guns and armor will be added to five other MD-530s that are currently used to train Afghan pilots. The MD-530F is nimble and fast but it carries fewer weapons than the Hind and it doesn't have nearly as much armored protection. The MD-530F is a stop-gap measure until the A-29 Super Tucano is delivered and integrated into operations. Read "Afghanistan's Iconic Hind Gunships Won't Fly Much Longer", by Joseph Trevithick, War is Boring, April 22, 2015.

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