The US Air Force Central Command in its latest report has stated that the Afghan Air Force has dropped more than 50 laser guided bombs after the first deployment of such a bomb on 22nd March.
As of May 11, A-29 pilots have supported approximately 30 Afghan ground missions with this technology, successfully dropping over 50 laser guided bombs on enemy targets, the report states.
“The recent addition of laser-guided bomb strike capability is huge for the Afghan Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Justin Williams, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron commander. “Afghanistan did not have it last fighting season, and we are already seeing the crippling psychological effect it is having on the enemies of Afghanistan this season.”
The report further adds that the capability, which consists of conventional bombs enabled with laser guidance kits, is almost entirely Afghan.
“The bombs are built by Afghan ammunitions specialists and loaded onto Afghan planes by Afghan maintainers,” said Williams. “This is one example of how the Afghan Air Force is assuming ownership across the board.”
Afghan Air Force members are constantly working with their train, advise and assist coalition partners to develop new capabilities that create a more professional, capable and sustainable Afghan Air Force, the report states.
“The Taliban like to hide in towns and places where civilians are,” said an Afghan Air Force A-29 pilot. “The Laser Guided Bomb lets me strike those places without hurting the local people.”