First four UH-60 Blackhawks to be delivered to Afghan Air Force in September

The Afghan Air Force expects to take delivery of the first four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the United States next month, it has been reported.

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission says “The first of 4 UH-60’s has completed its final technical evaluations and will be delivered to the Afghan Air Force in September.”

This comes as the Afghan government and the country’s international allies including US and NATO have stepped up efforts to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan force and Air Force.

The commander of the United States Central Command General Joseph L. Votel requested the US Congress to approve the budget for the Afghan forces Blackhawk program.

In his statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier in March this year, Gen. Votel informed regarding the significant capability gaps in Afghan Air Force and said “The DoD-request of $814.5M for FY17 for the first year of our plan to recapitalize the Afghan fleet provides funding to procure 53 UH-60s, with refurbishment and modification of the first 18; 30 additional armed MD-530F helicopters; 6 additional A-29 attack aircraft; and five AC-208s.”

He also added that the requested FY2017 Afghan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) budget, including the 23 additional funds for the first year of this proposed aviation initiative, went to Congress on 10 Nov 2016. -KP

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