The Taliban captured a number of US-made Boeing Insitu ScanEagle drones after taking over Kunduz Airport in northeastern Afghanistan on August 11.
On August 12, the group shared photos showing at least one of the captured drones as well as other weapons which were left behind by government forces at Kunduz Airport. The other weapons included a T-62 battel tank and several MaxxPro MRAP [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected] vehicles.
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According to the Taliban’s claims, more than 500 military vehicles were seized at the airport. A Mi-35 attack helicopter was also captured by the group’s fighters.
The ScanEagle is a small, long-endurance, low-altitude drone that is equipped with a day\night optical system. The drone has a range of 100 km and an endurance of 24 hours. The drone was designed for reconnaissance, but it can be equipped for other tasks.
The US have supplied a number of ScanEagle systems to the Afghan National Army in the last few years as a part of a $174 million program. The program received much criticism as it failed to achieve its main goals.
The Taliban will not likely be able to operate the ScanEagle drones it seized at Kunduz Airport. Still, the seizure of the drones was a blow to the Kabul government and its allies in Washington.
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