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Thread: Afghan Airforce 2010 onwards

  1. #1

    Afghan Airforce 2010 onwards

    Afghan Air Force Growth Plans

    Posted by Robert Wall at 8/12/2010 6:09 AM CDT

    U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Boera, who leads the international effort to rebuild the Afghan National Army Air Force, has provided an update on how things are going. Here are some highlights:

    -- There are now six C-27s in Afghanistan. The goal is to get to a fleet of around 20 to replace An-26s and An-32s. The Antonovs are due to be retired before 2013.

    -- fixed-wing close air support is due to be fielded around 2013-2014 to replace the Mi-35 Hinds. Those are already being partly replaced by giving Mi-17s a ground attack capability.

    -- the Mi-17 fleet is to grow to 56 rotorcraft. Note that Sikorsky is protesting the latest plan for a purchase of Mi-17s for the Afghans. Boera does not address the issue, but this comment is interesting: The Mi-17 "is a really good aircraft and it's really good for the Afghans right now. Eventually, a Western-type medium-lift helicopter will be appropriate."

    -- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities will only start to come into focus toward mid-decade. "They have a long ways to go before they are ready to do ISR-type of ops," Boera notes.

    -- staffing: 3,895 service members of which 34% officers, 28% NCOs, 36% enlisted, 2% civilian.

  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by buglerbilly View Post
    Afghan Air Force Growth Plans

    Posted by Robert Wall at 8/12/2010 6:09 AM CDT

    U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Boera, who leads the international effort to rebuild the Afghan National Army Air Force, has provided an update on how things are going. Here are some highlights:

    -- There are now six C-27s in Afghanistan. The goal is to get to a fleet of around 20 to replace An-26s and An-32s. The Antonovs are due to be retired before 2013.

    -- fixed-wing close air support is due to be fielded around 2013-2014 to replace the Mi-35 Hinds. Those are already being partly replaced by giving Mi-17s a ground attack capability.

    -- the Mi-17 fleet is to grow to 56 rotorcraft. Note that Sikorsky is protesting the latest plan for a purchase of Mi-17s for the Afghans. Boera does not address the issue, but this comment is interesting: The Mi-17 "is a really good aircraft and it's really good for the Afghans right now. Eventually, a Western-type medium-lift helicopter will be appropriate."

    -- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities will only start to come into focus toward mid-decade. "They have a long ways to go before they are ready to do ISR-type of ops," Boera notes.

    -- staffing: 3,895 service members of which 34% officers, 28% NCOs, 36% enlisted, 2% civilian.
    interesting how he is using navy colored money for the Mi-17 purchase, though.

    cheers

    w
    Kung fu Panda. What can I say? The guy is brilliant.

  3. #3

    DefenseDecision on Russian Mi-17 deliveries to Afghanistan to be made within 2 months - Russian FM


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

    18:18 18/08/2010© REUTERS/ Mohamad Torokman

    A decision will be made within two months on the possible delivery of 27 Russian Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

    "We are talking about a couple of dozen helicopters with the relevant equipment. I hope that in a month or month and a half there will be more clarity on the issue," Lavrov said.

    Russia has discussed the issue with NATO, he said.

    "We handed our proposals about how we would carry out the initiative to Brussels a few months ago. We are now waiting for a definite answer from our partners," he said.

    NATO Military Committee Chairman Giampaolo di Paola confirmed in late July that the organization was in discussion with Russia on the delivery of the helicopters.

    Russia's proposal was to deliver the first three helicopters for free, he said.

    Earlier in July, Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said it would compete for a U.S. tender to deliver Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan.

  4. #4

    DATE:30/09/10

    SOURCE:Flight International

    Alenia to modify two more G222s for Afghanistan


    By Stephen Trimble

    Spares appear to be a problem accoridng to some reports as in some spares are no longer made? Let's hope this gets resolved quickly for the Afghans sake.............

    Afghanistan is to receive a further two refurbished G222 light transports, following the US Air Force's award of a $30 million contract to Alenia North America.

    The move will increase to 20 the number of ex-Italian air force aircraft to be prepared for its growing air force by the end of next year.

    Joe Reheiser, Alenia North America's vice-president of airlift programmes, says the new award is "another positive indication of Alenia's performance on this programme".

    In September 2008, the USAF gave it $287 million to refurbish 18 G222s using a dedicated facility at Alenia's Capodichino site near Naples, Italy.

    Seven of these have been redelivered to the USAF as redesignated C-27As, with six deployed in Afghanistan (one pictured below at Kandahar airfield) and one used to train air advisors in Capodichino. Afghanistan plans to operate 18 of its aircraft as transports and two for VIP airlift.


    © Senior Airman Nancy Hooks/US Air Force

    Alenia hopes to keep its G222 refurbishment programme continuing with additional foreign sales. Libya and Peru asked for pricing information last year, and current operators Argentina and Thailand have also been cited as potential sales candidates.

  5. #5

    Russia Approves Sale of 21 Mi-17 Helicopters to Afghanistan


    Afghan National Air Corps MI-17 helicopters take off in a formation practice.

    07:26 GMT, September 30, 2010

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. | Defense Technology Inc. (DTI) announced yesterday that its procurement plan for twenty-one new Mi-17 aircraft has been approved by the Russian Government. Under RFQ N00019-10-R-0032, the United States Navy is competitively purchasing twenty-one Russian, civil variant Mi-17 aircraft for Afghanistan. These medium lift helicopters are the primary support aircraft of the Afghan National Army Air Force (ANAAF).

    DTI announced today that its proposed plan to supply twenty-one Mi-17 variant aircraft to Afghanistan has been endorsed by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Furthermore, the preliminary export approval has also been obtained.

    According to the letter from the Russian government, the Ministry of Defense, Directorate of Defense Exports, has concurred with the planned acquisition method and stated that there were no impediments to exporting the civil variant aircraft to Afghanistan.

    "This letter assures the U.S. that the DTI acquisition plan complies with Russian law, and that the export license will be quickly obtained," said Byron Kreck, Program Manager of DTI's Afghan Aviation Support Group. "Under previous U.S. Mi-17 contracts, 12 months or more was spent obtaining the required Russian licenses. This Russian Ministry of Defense pre-approval eliminates the Navy's risk and ensures that aircraft will be delivered in a timely manner."

    DTI, with offices in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the UAE, is one of the premier suppliers of military and dual-use hardware from the Commonwealth of Independent States. DTI was the prime contractor in the 2009 U.S. Navy program to procure four new Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan. DTI delivered the four aircraft within 46 days after contract award. The DTI Kabul team is also teaching the Afghans intermediate level Mi-17 maintenance and providing front-line Mi-17 maintenance mentors.

    The competitive U.S. Navy procurement for twenty-one Mi-17s, expected to be worth up to $370M, is planned for award in October 2010.

  6. #6

    Deadlines Loom as Afghans Struggle to Build Air Force

    Updated: 23 hours 47 minutes ago


    Sharon Weinberger
    Contributor

    AOL News This is the first in a series of stories by our special correspondent about military aviation issues linked to the war in Afghanistan. Read also about women pilots in the Afghan air force and about the U.S. Air Force's transporter dilemma.

    KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 30) -- Building an air force almost from scratch would be tough for any country; for Afghanistan, where the clock is ticking on U.S. support, it's even more daunting.

    Many observers are focusing on 2011, the year when U.S. troops are expected to begin drawing down. But just as important is 2016, when the Afghan air force, a key part of the country's armed forces, is expected to operate independent of U.S. support and assistance.

    U.S. Air Force Col. Creig Rice, the vice commander of the Combined Air Power Transition Force, said the biggest challenges in building the Afghan air force are "literacy and English language" among the recruits.


    Sharon Weinberger, AOL News
    The Afghan air force has slightly more than 4,000 personnel, including these pilots. Finding and training qualified recruits is proving to be a challenge.


    "Almost everything in the air force is technically oriented and it requires literacy," he said.

    The Afghan air force operates a mix of Russian and Western aircraft that includes Russian-built Mi-17 troop transport aircraft, Mi-35 attack helicopters, Antonov transport aircraft and recently acquired Italian C-27 airlifters. Soon, the military will get Western-built light attack aircraft as well as a Western fixed-wing training aircraft.

    But for now, aircraft aren't the problem, it's people, according to Rice, who is also the commander of the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing in Kabul. "The personnel piece is the one that's lagging," he said.

    The Afghan air force has slightly more than 4,000 personnel. It is scheduled to reach more than 8,000 at its projected full force in 2016. Rice believes the air force will ultimately meet this schedule, but he said he'd like to see several hundred more recruits already.

    But finding and training qualified recruits, particularly for pilot positions, is part of what makes the 2016 timeline so challenging. "The time it takes to train a new pilot is 18 to 20 months in the best case," Rice said. "Worst case would be 2 1/2 to three years."

    English language, another requirement because it is the international language of pilots, becomes a double-edged sword. Once they learn to speak English well enough to be a pilot, they may choose to work as a translator, which often pays several times more than a military pilot salary.

    Another problem is integrating the older pilots with the new, Western-trained recruits.

    "I would tell you I don't think it's working that well," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Greg Roberts, the commander of the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, which is helping to train the pilots. "I think there's a lot of perceived competition from the older guys; they've been here 30 years and feel like they've got land rights because they've been doing it longer than these whippersnappers."


    Sharon Weinberger, AOL News
    A Russian-built Mi-17 troop transport helicopter is one of the aircraft used by the Afghan air force.


    Many of the older pilots -- the average age is 46 -- flew under Northern Alliance, the loose confederation of groups that battled the ruling Taliban until the United States dislodged it in 2001. The Northern Alliance, which operated a fleet of rickety Mi-17s, even ran its own flight school.

    "They are competent," Rice said of those pilots. "They can drive the tractor well."

    By contrast, the younger pilots speak English and have been trained in the West, which means they understand modern instruments, can fly with night-vision goggles and understand how the International Civil Aviation Organization works. "English language alone is a reason for them to be jealous," Roberts said.

    He noted that the older pilots, if they know a foreign language, typically speak Russian. "There's a lot of room for resentment, and you can see it on a day-to-day basis," he said.

    For all the challenges the Afghan air force faces, it has made substantial progress over the past few years, Roberts said. But he worries that those accomplishments are often ignored by the American public. Most notably, in September, during the Pakistan floods, Afghanistan sent four of its Mi-17 helicopters to help in relief operations there.

    The Afghan air force rescued some 120 people and helped transport almost 2,000 people, including aid workers, around the country.

    That progress, Roberts argues, should not be discounted. "It's an important mission," Roberts said of U.S. work to build the Afghan air force, "and it's succeeding."

    But will it succeed by 2016?

    "There's a plan," Roberts said. "How realistic is that plan? I don't know."

  7. #7

    Five Females Seeking to Fly for Afghan Air Force

    Updated: 1 day 4 hours ago

    Sharon Weinberger
    Contributor

    AOL News This is the second in a series of stories by our special correspondent about military aviation issues linked to the war in Afghanistan. Read also the growing pains of the Afghan air force and about the U.S. Air Force's transporter dilemma.

    KABUL, Afghanistan (Oct. 30) -- Masooma Hussaini's path to becoming one of the Aghan air force's first female military pilot candidates began with a TV advertisement encouraging young women to join.

    She registered to take the exams for officer candidate school. Just a few months later, she was selected for a new pilot training program.

    The idea of female military pilots -- some of the most coveted military positions -- would have been unthinkable in Afghanistan just a decade ago, when the Taliban had relegated women to the bottom of the social scale, with no access to education, let alone jobs.

    But now Hussaini, 19, and four of her female colleagues, have broken yet another barrier: They are second lieutenants in the Afghan air force, on a path to becoming the first newly trained female pilots since the fall of the Taliban.


    Sharon Weinberger, AOL News
    Afghan air force recruit Masooma Hussaini, left, and another recruit are breaking down barriers in a male-dominated society.


    The five women are studying with more than a dozen men at the Thunder Lab, a recently opened English-language and cultural-immersion center for pilot candidates in Kabul. Here, they study English, which is now a requirement for all pilots.

    The only modification to the women's uniforms are black scarves covering their hair.

    Most of the women, like Hussaini, joined after seeing TV advertisements, but they also typically had support -- and even encouragement -- from their family. Khetera Ayoub Pur, another second lieutenant, rattles off the names of family members who have served in the military. For her, joining the military was a family tradition and a matter of national pride.

    The women, who are still a novelty at the base, will not be Afghan air force's first female pilots, however. There is one female pilot, who was trained before the Taliban regime came to power.

    But the young women are still very much an anomaly, and, if they do become pilots, they will face two divides: gender and age. The average Afghan military pilot is his mid- to late 40s, and typically trained somewhere in the former Soviet Union. The female pilot candidates -- most of whom are still teenagers -- will be Western-trained and decades younger than many of their counterparts.


    Sharon Weinberger, AOL News
    The five new female Afghan pilot candidates pose with their male colleagues.


    That age gap -- perhaps as much as the gender divide -- could prove tough for the women. "There's a little bit of baggage" with the older pilots, said Col. Creig Rice, the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander. "With these young guys, it's not a problem."

    But Rice also credits the Afghan air force commander, Mohammad Dawran, with helping to bring the women into the training program for pilots. "He's a pretty progressive guy," he said.

    Integrating women into the training curriculum was planned out ahead of time, said U.S. Air Force Capt. Stacey Monaghan, who works closely with the female trainees. The U.S. and other NATO member advisers looked at everything from classroom seating to eating arrangements, she said.

    In the end, all elements of the training were integrated, even physical training. The only strict physical separation is for living quarters -- the main building houses both the classrooms and the men's dorm rooms; the women live in a building next door.

    Because there are no physical barriers between the men's rooms and the classroom, silver tape on the floor denotes where the women aren't supposed to go. Likewise, the male officers don't enter the women's living area or even come to close it, according to Lt. Col. John Howard, the head adviser at the Thunder Lab.

    A joke among the other advisers, Howard said, is that if there were a fire, the men would shout to their female colleagues from the bottom of the building, "Please, please come out."

    That sort of integration -- professional, but not necessarily personal -- was on display as the female candidates sat in a circle with their male colleagues: The women sat together in a group of three and two, and in a group photo lined up next to each other.

    The women have only been at the Thunder Lab for two weeks, but in the most critical area of their current training -- learning English -- the women are already besting many of the men. "The women scored better than half the guys," Howard said.

    In fact, Hassaini's score was high enough to qualify her to go the United States for additional training immediately, Johnson said.

    But she --- and the other students –- still need cultural training before they depart. Once they do go to the United States, they may spend up to two years there getting additional English language training and then pilot instruction.

    Most of the female students are just 19, young by comparison to their Western counterparts, but not for Afghanistan, where the average age of marriage for women is 17.8 years, according the U.N. Development Fund for Women. When asked if they want to get married, Hussaini and her colleagues, who are all single, are adamant: "No, no," they said in unison.

    Later, they said that they would eventually like to have families, just not now.

    That, however, raises another question: What role will the female recruits eventually have in a society that expects women their age to already be married and having children? (About half of their male colleagues at the Thunder Lab are married.)

    Nobody, least of all the American advisers, has a good answer. "It's going to be an experiment," Monaghan said.

  8. #8

    New Afghan Eagles depart Kabul for pilot training

    Posted 12/12/2010 Updated 12/12/2010

    by MC3 Jared E. Walker
    438th AEW PA

    Success rates are not high for some of these courses. TWO got thru from some 30-40 in the last Basic Flying training course..................


    KABUL, Afghanistan - Members of the Afghan Air Force who are leaving to go to a partner nation in the middle east for pilot and English training pose for a photo with their advisors and fellow students at Kabul International Airport, on Dec. 11th. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Walker/ RELEASED).

    12/12/2010 - KABUL, Afghanistan -- Ten pilot candidates in the Afghan Air Force flew from the Kabul International Airport to a partner nation in the Middle East to start pilot training on Dec. 11.

    "This group of ten pilot candidates, all lieutenants, left for a two year journey for combined English and pilot training. Some will become fixed wing pilots and most will become rotary wing pilots. Their English is good now and it will get a lot better in two years," said Lt. Col. Paul A. LaVigne, Chief of Training for Afghan Pilot candidates and non-candidates, with the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan/438th Air Expeditionary Wing.

    LaVigne said that this contract is in a partner country and the idea behind the contract is to bridge the gap between the training that can be produced in the United States and before the Afghan Air Force can stand up their training in Shindand. LaVigne said that this contract allows the Afghans to produce pilots while AAF and NATC-A members are standing up Shindand, the future AAF training program base.

    "I am happy to see these guys go. The good news is that in about two years some of these guys will be back flying helicopters doing the mission of their country, which I think is very important," said LaVigne.

    LaVigne said the contract will produce 80 pilots total, 50 helicopter pilots and 30 fixed wing pilots. He said that the Afghan Air Force should be very excited because this is a very good program for AAF members and will create new pilots for the AAF.

    The next group of 11 AAF officers leaves Kabul in late December and will be followed by another 15 officers in January 2011.

  9. #9

    U.S. Buying $370M of Helicopters

    07 April 2011, Moscow Times


    mi-helicopter.ru
    Afghanistan’s military forces will be getting 21 Mi-17 choppers, along with spare parts, servicing and training.


    Russia and the United States have agreed on the terms for supplying 21 Russian military helicopters worth $370 million to Afghanistan, the daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

    Long-running talks are expected to end soon over the deal for Russia to supply the helicopters that Afghans will use for transport in their fight against insurgents as they take over security from U.S. and NATO troops, Afghan Air Force Chief General Abdul Wahab Wardak was quoted as saying.

    "The Americans told me the agreement is about to be signed. They are delivering 21 Mi-17 helicopters," he said. "We expect that the machines will begin to arrive by the end of the year."

    Wardak said the helicopters had been priced at $17.5 million each, making the deal worth $367.5 million. The Mil Mi-17 helicopter is a military transport vehicle known in NATO jargon as the Hip.

    The price of one Mi-17 is usually between $7 million to $10 million, according to Russia's top military think tank CAST. A source close to the Defense Ministry said the additional cost included spare parts, servicing and training.

    Russia has recently improved relations with NATO, for example with a deal allowing NATO transit across Russia for military equipment and personnel going to Afghanistan.

    Moscow, haunted by a disastrous military intervention in Afghanistan more than two decades ago that cost 15,000 Soviet lives, has refused to send troops to Afghanistan.

    But Russia is looking to boost its relations with the country as U.S. and NATO troops begin to hand over security to Afghan authorities starting in July.

    Despite escalating violence, a full handover is expected by 2014.

    The Russian government last year brought 11 regional helicopter manufacturers under one holding company, Russian Helicopters, to help boost efficiency and develop new models, both for civil and military use.

    Russian Helicopters is preparing for a potential $500 million London stock market float as part of the state's privatization plans, sources familiar with the deal have told Reuters.

    The company plans to start meeting with investors in Europe next week to judge interest and then will decide on the amount of shares to offer, the people said, declining to be identified while the details are still under consideration.

    The company wants to sell a 20 percent to 30 percent stake, two of the people said. Ilya Yakushev, a spokesman for Oboronprom, declined to comment when called by Bloomberg.

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and VTB Capital will manage the deal, the people said, confirming a report by Interfax on March 25.

    Russian Helicopters had revenue of $2.8 billion and debt of about $1 billion last year, said Artyom Lavrishchev, an analyst at TKB Capital in Moscow. He estimates the value of the company at about $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

    (Reuters, Bloomberg)

  10. #10

    Pentagon Contract Announcement

    (Source: U.S Department of Defense; issued May 26, 2011)

    The Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita, Kan., is being awarded an $88,499,909 firm-fixed price, single award contract for items being procured for the Afghanistan Basic Trainer/Light Lift Family of Systems: six Cessna T-182T aircraft; 26 Cessna 208B aircraft; six aircrew training devices; and interim contractor support for the aircraft and training devices in Afghanistan and advisor training.

    This effort supports foreign military sales to Afghanistan.

    877 AESG/SYI, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8617-11-C-6209).

    -ends-

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