Afghan Air Force helicopter fleet grows

Afghan Air Force helicopter fleet grows

6-Oct-2010 Source: US Air Force

On Oct. 4, 2010, the Afghan Air Force received delivery of four new Mi-17 V5 helicopters, bringing the current fleet to 31, sixof which are the latest V5 variant. This is part of a purchase of ten helicopters, which will be complete by the end of 2010.

In a yet to be determined procurement, the Ministry of Defense plans to take delivery of another 21 by 2013, bringing the total MoD Mi-17 fleet to 56. The Mi-17 is the AAF’s mainstay for airfield mobility, and will be distributed to air units throughout Afghanistan.

These Russian-built aircraft are modified in Dubai to comply with AAF configuration requirements. The AAF standards include a new cockpit, gun mounts and a tricolor paint scheme.

The Mi-17 has a service life of 25 years with overhauls every 2,000 flying hours. With normal projected attrition, the legacy aircraft will require recapitalization starting in 2014. This represents the point at which the AAF will transition to a more western-based platform. Between fiscal years 2014 and 2016 there is a $1 billion budget request to initiate this modernization.

by MC1(AW) Elizabeth Burke, 438th AEW Public Affairs

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