An Afghan Air Force Mi-17 takes off from Kabul Airport (Image Master Sgt. Keith Brown © USAF)

Overview: Afghan Air Force

Afghan Air Force (AAF), status as of 15 January 2016
(© 2014 – 2015 Airheadsfly.com. Featured image: An Afghan Air Force Mi-17 takes off from Kabul Airport (Image Master Sgt. Keith Brown © USAF))

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Active number of aircraft Afghan Air Force: 133 – 151

  • 4x Embraer A-29B Super Tucano light attack and close-air support aircraft. Bought through a US deal with Embraer. Planned full introduction into service of all 20 A-29s is somewhere in 2018. See our feature here.
  • 5x Mil Mi-35 (“Hind”) attack helicopters, 2 unserviced in reserve. To be retired in January 2016.
  • 4x Mil Mi-25 (“Hind”) attack helicopter. Gift from India.
  • 4x Lockheed C-130H Hercules tactical transport aircraft. Fourth aircraft delivered 20 June 2015.
  • 1x Boeing 727-220 VIP / passenger transport aircraft (ex-Ariana Afghan Airlines. commissioned October 2014)
  • 18x Cessna 208B Grand Caravan utility, surveillance, medevac aircraft. Status of another 8 Cessna 208Bs damaged in hail storm unknown.
  • 86x Mil Mi-17 (“Hip”) tactical transport, medevac and special forces helicopters. Status of another 11 Mi-8 and/or Mi-17s is uncertain. A 87th Mi-17 crashed on 3 January 2016
  • 11x MD Helicopters MD 530F (“Little Bird”) training and armed scout helicopters.
  • 2x HAL Cheetah (Alouette II) utility and scout helicopters. Gift from India.

Aircraft ordered / promised: 42

  • 16x Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack and close-air support aircraft. Bought through a US deal with Embraer. The aircraft and its pilots will work for full operational capability in the United States. The first aircraft rolled out of the factory in September 2014. Planned full introduction into service of all 20 A-29s is somewhere in 2018.
  • 1x Boeing 727-220 VIP / passenger transport aircraft (ex-Ariana Afghan Airlines)
  • 1x Boeing 727-220F cargo transport aircraft (ex-Ariana Afghan Airlines)
  • 6x MD Helicopters MD 530F (“Little Bird”) training and armed scout helicopters. Final planned to enter service in 2016. Total plans for 48 MD 530Fs eventually.
  • 10x – 18x Pilatus PC-12/PC-12NG Special Forces transport and support aircraft.
  • 1x HAL Cheetah utility and scout helicopter. Gift from India.

Airbases: 3 plus 4 NATO / US (reserve) fields

(Source: US Air Force / NATO / NATO)

    • Kabul International Airport (AAF 1 Wing)
      • 4 C-130H
      • 1 B727
      • 4 A-29B
      • 5 Mil Mi-35. To be retired in January 2016.
      • 4 Mil Mi-25
      • Part of the Cessna 208B fleet
      • Part of the Mi-17 fleet
      • Support airfield for NATO Operation Resolute Support, including 3 RAF Puma HC 2 choppers that replaced 3 Chinooks in 2015.
    • Bagram Airfield (US Air Force)
      • Support airfield for NATO Operation Resolute Support (successor ISAF / Enduring Freedom) and US missions in the area
    • Jalalabad Airport (Military / Civilian)
      • Support airfield for NATO of Operation Resolute Support / NATO’s Train Advise Assist Commands (TAAC) East supports the Afghan National Army 201st Corps from FOB Gamberi and FOB Fenty located near Jalalabad
    • Kandahar Airfield (KAF; AAF 2 Wing)
      • Part of the Cessna 208B fleet
      • Part of the Mi-17 fleet
      • NATO support aircraft for Operation Resolute Support / TAAC South supports the Afghan National Army 205th Corps
    • Shindand Airfield (AAF 3 Wing)
      • 11 MD 530F
      • likely HAL Cheetah
    • Herat Airfield (NATO TAAC West)
      • Support airfield for NATO Operation Resolute Support / TAAC West the Afghan National Army 207th Corps. The NATO contribution included at least two Italian Army AW129s and a Italian NH90
    • Mazar-i-Sharif Airfield (NATO TAAC North)
      • Support airfield for NATO Operation Resolute Support / TAAC North the Afghan National Army 209th Corps

    >>> Check out our continuing news stream on the Afghan Air Force

    Shooting Range (aka very nice shots)

    The first C-130H for the Afghan Air Force arriving at Kabul IAP (Image © Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade /ISAF)
    The first C-130H for the Afghan Air Force arriving at Kabul IAP (Image © Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade /ISAF)
    The first F-16 Fighting Falcon - tail marked TX - arrives at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, at 15 December 2013 after thorough runway maintenance (Image Senior Airman Kayla Newman © USAF)
    The first F-16 Fighting Falcon – tail marked TX – arrives at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, at 15 December 2013 after thorough runway maintenance (Image Senior Airman Kayla Newman © USAF)
    Four Afghan Air Force pilots training on the MD 530F helicopter at the Rotary Wing Flight Training Program in Shindand, Afghanistan, prepare for an extended cross country flight. In Autumn 2012 these pilots were the first to graduate from a pilot training program held in their country in more than 30 years (Image © US Army)
    Four Afghan Air Force pilots training on the MD 530F helicopter at the Rotary Wing Flight Training Program in Shindand, Afghanistan, prepare for an extended cross country flight. In Autumn 2012 these pilots were the first to graduate from a pilot training program held in their country in more than 30 years (Image © US Army)
    An Afghan National Army Mil Mi-17V5 (Image © Russian Helicopters)
    An Afghan National Army Mil Mi-17V5 (Image © Russian Helicopters)
    An 81st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot flies an A-29 Super Tucano on 5 March 2015 (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)
    An 81st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot flies an A-29 Super Tucano on 5 March 2015 (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)