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US delivers four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Afghan Air Force

The US has delivered four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the Afghan Air Force as part of NATO-led Resolute Support Mission.

The US has delivered four A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to the Afghan Air Force as part of the Nato-led Resolute Support Mission.

The A-29 is said to be the fastest and most powerful close-air-attack and aerial interdiction aircraft of the Afghan Air Force.

Since 2016, the US has delivered 18 A-29s to Afghanistan. It is expected to transfer another six aircraft in February.

Afghanistan Acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid said: “As we receive these planes, they are a message that Nato is committed to the Afghan Forces.

“During these important times this a good example of their continued cooperation and shows this will continue until the defeat of terrorism in the country and the region.”

Nato has been involved in the reconstruction and modernisation of the Afghan Air Force since 2007, initially along with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and then under the Resolute Support mission, which commenced in 2015.

Advisors from the US and coalition will offer training, advice and assistance to the Afghan Air Force. Training is provided to the ministerial level, as well as the wing, group, and squadron levels.

Nato Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan commander lieutenant general John Deedrick said: “Nato’s objective in Afghanistan has always been to deny safe havens for international terrorism.

“The best way to do this is to generate competent, trained and professional Afghan security forces, which can maintain security independently.

“As we work toward peace, the Nato-led Resolute Support Mission continues to work closely with all branches of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.”

The Afghan Air Force is now capable of planning and implementing logistics, supply, humanitarian, evacuation and combat support missions.

Last year, the Nigerian Air Force placed an order with Embraer Defense & Security and its partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to procure 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.

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