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Afghanistan welcomes final batch of A-29s
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received its final four A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft out of 26 ordered from the US.
‘The AAF now has the capacity to plan and implement operations independently,’ AAF Commander Lt Gen Abdul Fahim Ramin said on 17 September in a ceremony marking the arrival of the aircraft.
According to the Afghanistan MoD, the A-29 fleet is equipped with machine guns, rockets, and laser-guided bombs.
In February 2013, the USAF awarded prime contractor Sierra Nevada a contract to build 20 Super Tucanos, given the US designation A-29, to provide a light air support capability for the AAF. The first was delivered to the USAF in September 2014.
This indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract was later extended to 26 aircraft. Nine of these are employed by the USAF for training AAF pilots and engineers.
Shephard Defence Insight estimates an out-of-service date of 2039 for the Afghan A-29 fleet.
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