Wed, Oct

Afghan Air Power Developed After Security Agreement: MoD


Swat-helicopterMinistry of Defense (MoD) has said that the Afghan Air Force (AAF) was better equipped following the signing of Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul-Washington, an agreement allowing US forces to stay in Afghanistan post-2014.

The Afghan air force has been given a number of military choppers and fighter aircraft, the MoD said in a statement on Thursday.
"There was a lack of equipment, but we succeeded in overcoming the issues during 2015. They (U.S) provided support to our air force, ground force units, commando units, engineering, surveillance and intelligence sectors, however, this aid is not enough," Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman said.
The formation of a strong and capable Afghan air force was one of the key elements of the security agreement between the U.S and Afghanistan.
The ministry of defense says that after sealing the agreement, Washington has provided at least eight Super Tucano and 16 MD-530 aircraft to Afghan forces as Washington prepares to finalize the delivery of 20 more similar aircraft to Afghan forces by the end of the year.
"Until now we have not reached a level to conduct air operations independently across Afghanistan. Because the air force has not been revived," Sayed Sulaiman Shah, the commander of AAF for Kabul said.
"The expectations of the people of Afghanistan and the Afghan government are not complete, still there are shortages, our air force is not comparable with neighbors," political analyst Nasrullah Stanikzai said.
The Afghan forces conducted up to 20,000 missions during 2015 which shows a 50 percent increase compared to last year.
Currently, dozens of Afghan pilots are being trained in the U.S and in UAE in line with the BSA pact.