The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan will have further capabilities expansion with the deployment of two fixed-wing and two rotary-wing close-air support combat aircraft.
According to the Afghan defense officials, the aircraft have been handed over to the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces.
The officials further added that the aircraft include two A-29 Super Tucanos and two MD-530 combat helicopters.
The commander of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) Gen. Syed Sulaiman Shah told reporters in Nangarhar airport that the A-29s can carry heavy weapons to target the anti-government armed militants.
He said the A-29s can carry out precise airstrike using laser technology and can four types of weapons, 250 kgs of bombs, guided and unguided rockets.
Gen. Shah also added that the aircraft will be controlled by two pilots and can fly with low speed and altitude to precisely find and attack the targets.
The commander of 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces Gen. Mohammad Zaman Waziri said the deployment of aircraft will have a vital role to support the ground forces.
This comes as the commander of the Afghan Air Force Major General Abdul Wahab Wardak said Thursday that the A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft will start combat operations with the Afghan Air Force from the month of March.
The A-29 is a multi-role, fixed-wing aircraft that will provide the Afghan air force with an indigenous air-to-ground capability and aerial reconnaissance capabilities to support the country’s counterinsurgency operations.
Eight Afghan Air Force pilots completed their training late last year and graduated from a program hosted by the 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in United States and will return to Afghanistan for combat.