Saturday, 2 February 2013

Afghan air force must adapt post-ISAF, says Hammond

Ending the involvement of nations fighting Including the UK and the USA in Afghanistan's fight against the Taliban will require the nation to use the limited resources available to it, DESPITE issues currently facing two icts of key equipment areas.

"On air support, Including rotary, there is a Plan to Provide basic air capability to the Afghans through the Afghan air force," UK defense secretary Philip Hammond Told a House of Commons Defence Committee hearing on 23 January.

"It Would Be Goal nothing like the level of air capability que le ISAF [NATO-led International Security Assistance Force] forces, have. 'Em That will require to adapt Their method of operations to the level of available enablers That Are for Them."

Hammond gave evidence to the committee days after discussing Afghanistan's nascent defense capabilities falling on a January 19 meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in London.

Flightglobal's World Air Forces directory for 2013 lists Kabul's armed forces, as Having a combined 98 aircraft in active use at the end of 2012, with this total Including a combined 31 Alenia Aermacchi C-27A (G222) and Cessna 208 Caravan fixed-wing transport. Rotorcraft operated by the Afghan National Army Air Corps include 67 Bell UH-1H transport and Mil Mi-8/17-series more Mi-35 assault helicopters and trainers MD530.

Recent reports suggest the U.S. Air Force may terminate a deal to supporting Afghanistan's refurbished C-27AS from later this year, with Washington Believed to be Promoting the introduction of second-hand Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules to equip the Afghan National Security Forces INSTEAD.

The USAF HAS aussi slipped a decision to select a Planned fleet of 20 light air support aircraft for the Afghan air force by several months from January 2013. This leaves little prospect for Either the rival Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 or Sierra Nevada / Embraer A-29 Super Tucano to be limited in use even before fighting coalition forces, halt activities before the end of 2014.

Afghanistan's new generation of military pilots so far Have Participated in a non-combat role Largely in the country, flying Accompanied by other ISAF mission aircraft. Previously NATO HAS spoken of the nation's air force as Being ble to offer year operationally independent capability only Effective 2017.

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