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Afghan Air Force Received Four Warplanes From U.S. (Video, Photos)

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On September 17, the U.S. transferred four A-29 Super Tocano warplanes to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) during a ceremony in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The ceremony was attended by Afghanstan’s Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid as well as senior officers of the AAF and the NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.

“As we receive these planes, they are a message that NATO is committed to the Afghan Forces,” said defense minister Asadullah Khalid. “During these important times this a good example of their continued cooperation, and shows this will continue until the defeat of terrorism in the country and the region.”

“NATO’s objective in Afghanistan has always been to deny safe havens for international terrorism,” said Lt. Gen. John Deedrick, commander of NATO’s Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. “The best way to do this is to generate competent, trained and professional Afghan security forces which can maintain security independently. As we work toward peace, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission continues to work closely with all branches of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”

The U.S. has supplied the AAF with 18 A-29s warplanes since 2016. The supply of six additional warplanes is scheduled in February of 2021.

The Department of Defense ordered 26 A-29s for the AAF from the U.S.-based Sierra Nevada Corporation, SNC, and its partner Brazilian Embraer Defense and Security in a $1.808 billion contract.

The A-29 Super Tocano that is being used by the AAF as a counter-insurgency aircraft is easy to fly and to maintain. It is also considered to be one of the cheapest warplanes to operate. Afghan A-29s are armed with Paveway laser-guided bombs, which enable them to carry out pinpoint airstrikes.

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