BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:50 A.M.) – The Afghan Air Force has recently received a number of US-built UH-60 Black Hawk multi-role helicopters as part of a new weapons procurement package aimed at modernizing its inventory.
According to the Khaama Press new agency, the first delivery of Black Hawks arrived in southern Kandahar Province on Monday and consisted of four of the new helicopters.
In line with the ambitious fiscal year 2017 budget put forth by the Afghan defense department, the air force plans to acquire at total of 53 Black Hawks as well as thirty of the lighter MD-530F scout helicopters (also built by the US).
As more of the new Black Hawks enter service, the Afghan Air Force will phase out its older Mi-17 helicopters – a Soviet-era design of the same role.
The new procurement is part of a bid to modernize the Afghan Air Force and expand its capabilities in the ongoing fight against Islamist and jihadist insurgents throughout the country.