Sweden prepares helicopters for Afghanistan
Sweden's fleet of Kawasaki-built Boeing Vertol 107 helicopters are being prepared for possible deployment to Afghanistan.
Sweden has 14 of the type - designated locally as the HKP 4 - with nine based at Ronneby near Karlskrona and five at Linköping in the south of the country.
Recently four of the helicopters, which were first delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces in the 1960s at Ronneby have been modified giving them improved ballistic protection and machine guns as well as the capability to allow crews to use night vision goggles. A Flight Data Recorder has also been installed.
The Swedish Armed Forces say that these aircraft are now ready for a deployment to Afghanistan should the government give the green light to deploy.
Further modifications will be made should the decision be made, including installation of a defensive aids system, and sand filters for the engines allowing them to fly in the dusty environment.
One of the Ronneby aircraft is also being used as a transportation testbed. The aircraft has been wrapped in laminate to withstand transport by sea, should they been carried by ship for eventual deployment.
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