Pentagon Contract Announcement
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Sept 5, 2017)
The MD530F Cayuse Warrior, designated Jengi in Dari, is the Afghan Air Force’s close air support helicopter and is habitually armed with machine gun pods. It entered service in 2015. (Afghan AF photo)
MD Helicopters Inc., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $1,385,497,987 firm-fixed-price foreign military sales (Afghanistan) contract for procurement of an estimated quantity of 150 MD 530F aircraft and required production support services to include program management, delivery support, pilot training and maintenance.
One bid was solicited, with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2022.
U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-17-D-0089).
$7 Billion Will Be Spent on Afghan Air Force
(Source: TOLO News; posted Sept 03, 2017)
By Samim Faramarz
In a major sign of long-term support for Afghanistan, the United States and NATO alliance are moving to support the Afghan Air Force by investing billions of dollars in the nation’s Air Force.
Gen. Phillip A. Stewart, commander of Train, Advise, Assist Command said in an interview with TOLOnews on Sunday that $7 billion will be spent on the Afghan Air Force over the next four years.
“We expect the Afghan Air Force to be fully professional, sustainable and capable and independent and that’s our whole goal here,” he said.
Under the new aid package, the number of aircraft owned by the AAF will be doubled in the next four years.
“It takes a lot of time to build an air force from scratch, the Afghan Air Force is actually doing it incredibly fast and doing it under combat conditions, I don’t think that’s ever being done before when you an air force from scratch and in combat conditions, I think the international community has pitched in in an incredible manner, we have fourteen different nations that are part of the train, advise and assist mission,” said Stewart.
Afghan Air Force MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter pilots rehearse the first MD-530F Rollout ceremony in 2015. (US DoD video)
He said that one of the problems is that the Afghan Air Force personnel are growing during a war time. However, the development of these forces is encouraging.
The complexity in the geography of the war in Afghanistan has been testing the war capabilities of the ground forces as insurgents continue their irregular and guerrilla warfare tactics in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, a number of military experts have said that the Afghan government should also seek cooperation from foreign countries to boost the radar system of the country so that Afghan government can take control of its air space.
“We have a lot of shortages, we have a lot of weaknesses, we need to work on the issues, the system needs to work on it, we need a strong air force system to find the capability of controlling our air space,” said military expert Jabbar Qahraman.
Currently the Afghan Air Force is using A-29 Super Tucano and MD 530 aircrafts.
(TOLOnews is Afghanistan's first 24-Hours news network)