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Afghan Air Force

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The Afghan Air Force (AAF; Pashto: دافغانستان هوائی ځواک ; Dari: قوای هوائی افغانستان), formerly the Afghan National Army Air Corps, is a branch of the military of Afghanistan that is responsible for air defense and air warfare. It is divided into three wings, with the 1st Wing at Kabul, the 2nd Wing at Kandahar and the 3rd Wing south at Shindand in western Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Mohammad Dawran serves as Chief of Staff of the Afghan Air Force and Major General Abdul Wahab Wardak is the Afghan Air Force Commander. The command center of the Afghan Air Force is located at Kabul International Airport and the Shindand Air Base in Herat Province serves as the main training area.

The Afghan Air Force was established in 1924 under the rule of King Amanullah and upgraded by King Zahir Shah in the 1960s. During the 1980s, the Soviet Union built up the AAF, first in an attempt to defeat the mujahideen and in hopes that a strong Afghan air power would preserve the pro-Soviet government of Najibullah. The AAF had over 400 military aircraft, including more than 200 Soviet-made fighter jets. The collapse of Najibullah's government in 1992 and the continuation of a civil war throughout the 1990s reduced the number of Afghan aircraft to less than a dozen. During Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001, in which the Taliban government was ousted from power, only a few helicopters remained of the Afghan Air Force.

Since 2007, the US-led, international Combined Air Power Transition Force (CAPTF), which was renamed the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan (NATC-A) in 2010, has worked to rebuild and modernize the Afghan Air Force. The CAPTF / NATC-A serves as the air component of the US-led, international Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan which is responsible for rebuilding the Afghan armed forces. The AAF currently has 368 aircraft and 14,000 active duty personnel

Aircraft Inventory[edit]

Combat Aircraft[edit]

  • Cessna AC-208 Caravan x 6 (COIN Aircraft)
  • KAI FA-50 Golden Eagle x 24 (Light Fighter)
  • Lockheed Martin F-16C Blk.50/52+ Fighting Falcon x 24 (Multirole Fighter)
  • Embraer A-29 Super Tucano x 20 (COIN Aircraft)

ELINT Aircraft[edit]

  • AMD Alarus CH2000 x 12 (Patrol Aircraft)
  • Beechcraft Super King Air 350 x 6 (Patrol Aircraft)
  • Cessna RC-208 Caravan x 4 (Reconnaissance Aircraft)
  • Seabird SB7L-360A Seeker x 4 (Patrol Aircraft)

Transport Aircraft[edit]

  • Aeritalia C-27A x 18 (Transport Aircraft)
  • Beechcraft Super King Air 350 x 2 (Transport Aircraft)
  • Boeing 727 x 4 (VIP Transport)
  • Cessna 208 x 30 (Transport/Utility)
  • De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter x 2 (STOL Transport)
  • Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules x 8 (Tactical Transport)
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules x 6 (Tactical Transport)
  • Pilatus PC-12 x 4 (Utility Aircraft)

Helicopters[edit]

  • Bell 206B Jet Ranger x 20 (Utility Helicopter)
  • Bell 407 x 30 (Utility Helicopter/Gunship)
  • Bell UH-1H x 26 (Utility Helicopter)
  • Eurocopter EC635 x 50 (Light Attack/Training Helicopter)
  • McDonnell-Douglas MD530F x 34 (Light Attack/Training Helicopter)
  • Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk x 12 (Medium Lift Utility Helicopter)

Training Aircraft[edit]

  • Aero L-159T1 ALCA x 28 (Advanced Trainer)
  • Beechcraft T-6 Texan II x 16 (Primary Trainer)
  • Bell 407 x 20 (Training Helicopter)
  • Lockheed Martin F-16D Blk.50/52+ Fighting Falcon x 12 (Conversion Trainer)
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