Home » Air » Afghan Air Force Waits on Light Attack Aircraft

Afghan Air Force Waits on Light Attack Aircraft

by Richard Sisk on April 23, 2013

Despite years of effort by U.S. trainers, the fledgling Afghan Air Force still lacks the planes and the pilots to bomb and strafe in support of its own ground forces and won’t have that ability anytime soon, the top U.S. air commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday.

“They don’t,” Air Force Maj. Gen. H.D. “Jake” Polumbo said when asked if the AAF had the ability to back up the Afghan army in combat. “They have no close air support capability as we would define it. It will take time,” said Polumbo, director of the air component of the International Security Assistance Force.

In a video briefing to the Pentagon from Kabul, Polumbo said that the AAF should begin getting attack aircraft sometime in 2014 with the hoped for arrival of the first of 20 Embraer A29B Super Tucano light air support prop planes which the U.S. bought for the AAF for $427 million.

But that timetable assumes that the Super Tucanos will survive another challenge for the contract from Beechcraft (formerly Hawker Beechcraft), maker of the competing AT-6B Texan II prop plane. The General Accountability Office is currently reviewing the viability of the Beechcraft challenge, and another round of lawsuits was a possibility.

Kansas lawmakers are backing the challenge from Kansas-based Beechcraft while Florida and Ohio politicians are rallying round the Super Tucano, which would be assembled in Jacksonville, Fla., with avionics made by the Sierra Nevada Corp. at a plant in Centennial, Ohio.

And even assuming that the Super Tucanos arrive on time, there is still the problem of finding Afghans who can be trained to fly them.
Afghans who have been showing up for training in the Afghan Air Force couldn’t read and write, Polumbo said, and an entire class had to be sent home recently because they were illiterate. Flying the Super Tucano “requires English and full literacy capabilities,” Polumbo said.

“Building the AAF from the ground up is no easy task,” said Polumbo, echoing the sentiments of his predecessor as air commander, Maj. Gen. Todd Wolters.

The AAF currently has about 6,000 personnel in the projected overall force of 352,000 soldiers and police in the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), but Polumbo said the “early signs are encouraging” for the new Afghan airmen.

The AAF currently is flying aging Russian-made Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters but adding the fixed-wing ability to support ground troops was vital as NATO forces withdraw all combat troops by the end of 2014, Polumbo said. “We know that (tactical) air is a critical enabler,” said Polumbo, who doubles as commander of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan. “The Taliban have no match for it.”

The Afghans and the remaining NATO forces will have to rely for close air support on U.S. and allied fixed-wing aircraft. As the troops withdraw, the air support will increasingly come from “over the horizon” from U.S. carriers in the Persian Gulf and Gulf airbases, Polumbo said.

When the troops are withdrawn, the focus of the air war in Afghanistan will shift to drones for tactical air and reconnaissance, Polumbo said.

“I come back to the remotely piloted aircraft,” Polumbo said. “They can collect intelligence, but they also are armed. And they’re armed to be able to provide force protection to our coalition forces and then when our coalition ground force commanders, when they deem it appropriate, they can control that air-delivered munition capability from the RPAs to be put in support of the Afghans.”

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Oh boy. Well, I mean, we could be giving them A-10's. I wonder these planes will carry. I would imagine they will find work in the Afgan-Paki border, taking on Taliban strongholds. But what will be on the pylons?

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blight_ April 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Zuni rockets and 70mm dumbfire will do the trick, as long as the enemy doesn't have MANPADS. Some Strelas from Pakistan will really mess things up.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Thanks. Though, I would imagine that a well aimed RPG-7 could take a Tucano down. My confidence with the Afganis was never high, but giving them light aircraft to chuck at the Taliban could end badly.

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blight_ April 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm

More accurately in terms of weapons:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_314_Supe

Rockets:
(4x) pods 70 mm (2.75 in) LM-70/19(SBAT-70)
(4x) pods 70 mm (2.75 in) LAU-68A/G
Missiles:
Air-to-air:
AIM-9L Sidewinder
MAA-1A Piranha
MAA-1B Piranha (under development)
Python 3
Python 4
Air-to-ground:
AGM-65 Maverick
Bombs:
General-purpose bombs:
(10x) Mk 81
(5x) Mk 82
M-117
Incendiary bombs:
BINC-300
Cluster bombs:
BLG-252
Precision-guided bombs:
SMKB-82 (under development)– Mectron/Britanite INS/GPS guidance kit for Mk 82.
GBU-54 (under development)
GBU-38 (under development)
GBU-39 (under development)
Paveway II
Lizard – Elbit laser guidance kit.
Griffin – IAI laser guidance kit.
(If it supports Mk 82's it'll probably do the JDAM version too. And on paper you could mount SDBs, but it would require engineering the mountings.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Very odd things happening here. The font on the site has changed on me twice; a second ago there was no down or up voting. Anyways, I am slightly concerned about the cluster bombs. Supposing the Afghanis buy them, would they have the capability to use them?

USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm

USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 10:13 pm

scott April 25, 2013 at 9:03 am

thats a big pile of hoopla you are an idiot and dont know crap about this stuff

Hoopla April 25, 2013 at 9:14 am

You bet your pants

Tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm
Mike May 10, 2013 at 12:20 am

The Russians had no problem building a large Afghan Airforce. Yet for some reason ( politics ? ) the US does not seem to be able to get this done. Very embarrassing and a looming military disaster. Heads should roll.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Oh. Haha. Just noticed the picture isn't of a Tucano. Defense Tech, c'mon.

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hoopla April 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

Your a terrrible person and dont understand anything

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

Restore Palestine! As I live and breathe. Lets see. Moon Buggy!

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Brad April 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

They should stick with choppers and artillery for fire support. Giving them fixed wing craft is too many eggs in one basket for them.

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johnvarry April 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

Helos are slower and more vulnerable. Super Tucano is faster and more agile plus can carry weaponry while carrying targeting gear like a built in FLIR turret with laser designator and Electronics for self defense. Super Tucano is IMHO pretty comparable to a WW2 close air support prop fighter like a Hurricane or P-40. Slower and cant carry as much as a Typhoon or P-47.

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majr0d April 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Fixed wing is a more efficient platform for CAS (payload, speed, endurance, range).

The Super Tuc is an outstanding plane. The AT6B Texan can do the same job and has almost identical performance characteristics/capabilities across the board for 40% less cost.

The Air Force keeps picking the Super Tuc, a plane we're going to give away in the end. NOT smart and a repeated mistake. Hmmmm?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Well than, clearly, we should get/give the Texan.

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Brad April 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Majr0d. I doubt they are capable of long term maitanence. And yes, the air force/ state dept are more than capable of repeated mistakes. Just look at the air forces of similarly resourced countries, somalia, uganda, etc. You get the point….it would be great for the first few weeks untill something breaks, and then it will sit in the junk yard getting eaten away by rust.

johnvarry April 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Sorry in this case I think the Super Tucano is a better aircraft. Super Tucano has almost same cruise speed and max speed. Super Tucano is slighly larger than the Texan II yet weighs more empty than Texan II's max weight and still has a stall speed 5mph slower than Texan II. Both have FLIR turrets. Deal maker for me is Super Tucano's ability to carry 2 x 12.7mm HMG's inside wings not tying up any hardpoints.

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majr0d April 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

The AT6B's .50 cal pods carry more ammo and being smaller is a good thing when you are getting shot at not to mention all for FORTY percent LESS cost.

You can almost buy TWO AT6B's for ONE Super Tuc but let's not forget that 5mph less stall speed! I think your priorities are off a bit.

tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Sorry, but the better plane is already here. This just is Beechcraft sour grapes & Lobbists.

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Bear in mind Super Tucano is an evolution of the earlier Tucano; and more likely than not the Texan II is more in line with the Tucano.

That said, Tucanos are already here. No AT-6 Texans exist, and we'd be paying for Beechcraft to bring the capability online and get mass production started. But the Afghans need aircraft sooner rather than later. 2015 is a bit late to get them, the war could well be over by then. Tucano won in 2011 with expected field date of 2013. They won again in 2013, with expected field date in 2015.

blight_ April 25, 2013 at 9:12 am

Hello to you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hello!

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Stephen April 24, 2013 at 2:06 am

Short take off and landing aircraft are really good for transporting drugs, I wonder how long it will be till they are caught…??

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

When they start asking exclusively for Pilatus Porters…

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Vaughn McCall April 24, 2013 at 7:59 am

Rome wasn’t built in a day, having been a USAF advisor (Morocco, Vietnam (Pacer Bravo), Laos, and Cambodia) also as a civilian (Iran, Greece, and Saudi Arriba) every one is trainable. We did it before and it works, but “Rome wasn’t built in a day” English, Technical English, Technical Training,
Specific Aircraft/System Training takes time. This process could take a year or more and of course one would hope they could read and write in their own language. We should have started by bringing back a squadron of T-28C/D’s. Since they are flying Helos and trainers they must have some basic skills

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 8:56 am

Indeed, we're busy focusing on pilots, but they need good maintainers and adequate supplies or all bets are off.

I wonder if we could poach some ex-Iraqi AF guys to help us train Afghans. Then again, a working knowledge of Arabic doesn't necessarily translate in the Pashtun hinterlands, where Arabic is for the Qu'ran and everyone does Pashto, and maybe Farsi.

I wonder if we could find the old Afghan Air Force guys from the Soviet era. They'd probably be on the long-in-the-tooth side, though…

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 11:02 am

I would suppose all those old Afghan pilots are in some jail in Russia, or something. I don't know how well Iraqi pilots will fare in Afghanistan.

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Jerry Waller May 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

They need to start with middle school aged kids, and basic curriculum to learn to read and speak english, and a cadet program modeled on Civil Air Patrol. Set up a school in Arizona for 500 lucky Afgan kids. These kids will be the next generation of Air Force in AFG and possibly the next real leaders of the country. Any contractors interested?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 11:01 am

Maybe we can throw in a few hundred kits of "Rosetta Stone" with these aircraft.

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

How did training in Laos go? Was it Royal Lao Army or Other-Government-Agency Hmong? The latter might be more comparable to what we have to deal with in Afghanistan.

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Vaughn McCall April 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Royal Lao AF, T-28's

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

The wikipedia article on the RLAF is probably a sobering foreshadowing of what'll happen with the Afghan Air Force. I can be optimistic, but…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Lao_Air_Force

"The first three AC-47 Spooky gunships were received from the U. S. and Vietnamese Air Forces, and the first missions flown on 5 September. There were teething problems–air crews were expected to fly C-47s by day as well as AC-47s at night; gunners burned out guns; munitions were fired just for resale value of the brass; Vang Pao was initially reluctant to employ them for fear of friendly casualties. The experience of the pilots helped though; for instance, Captain Khamphanh (of the air-to-air victory) had logged over 7,000 flying hours. Nevertheless, the three Spookies soon proved their worth and began averaging about 50 nocturnal combat sorties per month."

"Another weak point, never really solved, was the dearth of qualified Lao maintenance and logistics personnel. An attempt to solve the shortage was made when all the RLAF T-28s were released from U. S. control to the RLAF, with an expanded training program being run."

To say the least, what a mess.

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Musson April 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

My late Mother-in-law used to say – You can't make Chicken Salad out of Chickensh#t.

A viable air force may be out of the Afghans reach at this point in time.

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 10:25 am

Define viable. They'd certainly be light years behind the Pakistanis and the Iranians, but they really need a CAS/COIN air force more than anything. I am definitely worried that they will be unable to really maintain their aircraft; short of a few dedicated Tajiks who worked McGyver miracles for the Northern Alliance in the '90s.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

Yeah, the Afghanis will have trouble in keeping their aircraft in working condition, and keeping their aircraft out of illegal activity. They are going to need guidance for at least a few years, which will probably be afforded by the USAF.

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Hoopla April 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Like for real thats the best saying i have heard in 18 years it is also the best logic i have heard yet

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

It's a statement of a lack of faith in the Afghans. It's not logical, but based on historical precedent.

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Tom April 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

I'm confused….don't we have the "sequester" going on, we are busy closing down air traffic control towers and stoping White House Tours….who is paying to further arm this group of Muslims?

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blight_ April 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Indeed, if we had armed "those [Tajik, Hazara] Muslims" we probably would have had better people in charge of Afghanistan. Instead, Hekmatyar and the Pakistanis turned Afghanistan into a charnel house, and led to the Taliban.

Of course, it's always easier to pretend foreign countries don't exist until they turn into trouble for us.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Ha, if we just thought other countries didn't exist, then a whole lot of messy stuff would start happening.

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Samsoor June 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

becouse afghan says they are not our friend and please go back to your country we knows that where to buy heavey weapons, yes moscow is ok than yours

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Lance April 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Main fact is that they the Afghans should be buying them NOT the US. 2 may have been cheaper to buy them some old MiG-17s at a fraction of the cost and add bomb pylons for it. They used in the 80s. Any way this buying for a failing state is dragging our military down time to stop it and make afghans buy there own weapons.

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Lance…………. This a failing state if we let it fail. Turning our backs after the Russians left is how we got here. Ask Joe Wilson.

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Papi1960R April 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Lance, you are right. If we let it fail? WTF are we going to be staying there? Only if the ancient warriors have their way. No business there after Al-Qaeda was route on the ground. Time to cut the umbilical chord and watch the Taliban take over in 6-8 months, maybe quicker. The US must institute a policy of only SELLING arms to those who pay full price. No exceptions. Hell, there is a line of 60+ A-37 Dragonflies sitting along Kolb road in Tucson just waiting for someone to BUY them. Nothing for free ever again.

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Robert Branch April 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I like Vince McCall's comment…it is true to life.

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

He's probably the only one on this thread who understands the difficulty of bootstrapping an air force in a low tech country first-hand, instead of on armchair/research/theoretical principles. Short of people with direct experience with the Afghan Air Force.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 11:04 am

Well yeah, I mean the Afghanis haven't been using top of the line tech for a while now. We can't just throw them some F-35s and expect them to be the next "Flying Circus".

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

The RLAF used T-28 Trojans for CAS. Worked for them.

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

And 8 tracks were state of the art too. Time to move on.

USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm

When was this?

Jawid April 27, 2013 at 1:12 am

we will be soon .

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Robert Branch April 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Sorry, Vaughn McCall's comment.

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Ripberger April 25, 2013 at 5:49 am

The Air Tigers of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka used to take cheap training aircraft and add makeshift bomb racks to them. They were very effective even against the more modern Sri Lankan military. If push comes to shove, couldn't the Afghans do that?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 11:06 am

Depends if they have things to hang off those racks.

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

You do not base a Air force on the A-team meets MacGuyver.

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WRG01 April 25, 2013 at 8:17 am

You all don't give the Afghan personnel and leadership enough credit. They are more than capable of fielding, maintaining and employing a low-to-medium tech air to ground capability. Maybe if OUR priorities weren't on getting contractors and their investors wealthy, they would be already well established in this area…nonetheless, they can and will succeed at this. We haven't wasted 12+ years of our effort and treasure for nothing. There are very good people over there…among us and the Afghans. Give them some credit.

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 3:40 pm

The Northern alliance did a lot better than anyone expected. But the Pashtuns are the majority, and are going to be the basis of the army that fights the Pashtun insurgency.

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Hoopla April 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

I don't understand anything!!!!!! I'm just an Idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:'((((((((((((((

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lane April 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

I didn't know these folks could fly anything……..Oh , well!

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Typical response of a American to the rest of the world. In 1940……..
Wake up.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm

The Japanese and Germans were pretty good aviators, that is until they lost them.

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Jawid April 27, 2013 at 1:21 am

Dear Friends .
I don't now what you media say about Afghanistan but the fact is that we are quick learner and capable of any hard working that you gays don't even imagine or dreamed of .
we don't big anyone for giving us air sport such F -35 or etc, you gays started the war so its is your job to finished it .
Regards .

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blight_ April 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

Unless you're a Tajik from the Panjshir Valley: in which case, the Pashtuns started it, and we're helping the Tajiks finish it.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 27, 2013 at 11:00 am

Okay. Firstly, a lot of the un-stabilized bits of your country were from Russia's involvement in their Afghan War. Next, we aren't putting you guys down; but you have to realize that becoming the next fighter ace requires training.

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Jawid April 29, 2013 at 2:37 am

and we are ready for that .

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Papi1960R April 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Hopefully the Taliban will be able to harvest enough poppies in the future to pay for the maintenance of their Aircraft after 2015. I hate to see the US taxpayers money go to waste.

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Charlene October 18, 2013 at 2:51 am
pit 2013 program December 21, 2013 at 6:42 am
Aj March 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

The soviet Union when they were in Afghanistan for 10 years they have managed to trained and build Afghan air forces with over 900 aircrafts but today NATO is bulshating they do not want to build the Afghan Airforce because they they want a reason to stay in Afghanistan for saying they they would provide close air support, the NATO is bringing many excuses but i think Afghanistan should become friend back with Russia rather than NATO becuase NATO lies and NATO is not a true ally of Afghanistan and they would never be so Afghanistan government must establish links with Russia and kick out NATO from Afghanistan.

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che when April 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Called css not loading in time your crap inet connection or bad coding of the headers

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Kim April 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Cluster bombs are as bad an idea as are land mines: they kill or maim mainly civilians.

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Jawid April 27, 2013 at 12:58 am

Sir,
let me tell you something about capability of afghans do a research about Afghanistan past army you will see how much we ware capable .

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Sure.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm

My point exactly. The Afghanis have been caught trafficking drugs on their air force aircraft. If cluster bombs fall into wrong hands….

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USS ENTERPRISE April 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Why don't we just don't give them anything to begin with. If they want to buy something, take it into consideration. Job done.

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WRG01 April 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

Tucano is superior to the AT6 in every category and will be manufactured in Florida. The data comparison and quantifiable support from real-world combat use clearly indicates that the Tucano is the appropriate aircraft for this mission. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/04/17/lig

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

Agree with majr0d on this one. The numbers and dollars don't lie.

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blight_ April 27, 2013 at 10:10 am

Money is going to define procurement decisions for some time. Or at least, it's supposed to.

In the old days we would've dug out old aircraft and given them to Afghanistan: the fact that we have no attack fixed-wing turboprops appears to be a product of our thinking.

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tiger April 29, 2013 at 4:24 am

So great, they have no other buyers?

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

Thanks. Try arguing with facts.

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

My Brazilian-made-pants-made-in-partnership-with-an-American-company-to-qualify-as-made-in-USA pants, I assume?

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

So did we…..

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tiger April 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Please, don't make policy worse…….

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majr0d April 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The AT6B is from the Texan II a derivative of the Pilatus PC-9 from the early 80's. No connection to the Tucano unless the Brazilians copied the PC-9. FYI, the AT6 is already in the system, flown and maintained by the Air Force (another factor that would drive down cost and deployment times).

Bringing the AT6B online is not anymore difficult than building a new factory in the US to assemble Super Tucanos made in Brazil. The Super Tuc wins are intersting. Even more so if you delve into why they won. The Texan II was eliminatedfrom the first competition because they were given the wrong address to submit paperwork that arrived a day late, the second had improprieties that were criminally investigated. A case hasn't been made by the Air Force on why the Super Tuc is the better plane. Those three coincidences would cause a critical thinker to pause.

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majr0d April 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

"Tucano is superior to the AT6 in every category". No, just in price.

My comments in that article you posted clarify the point.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Anything we do to you policy will make it better.

/sarc

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm

That's probably the two year delay. Sadly, the Afghans needed these aircraft sooner rather than later.

The Super Tucano is a scaled up Tucano. The AT-6B is by extension derived from the T-6B in an analogous fashion.

That said, the AT6B doesn't exist in a form beyond the demonstrator. If both aircraft were equal, the next question is if it's faster to retool production lines geared to deliver T-6's for AT-6's, vs paying Sierra Nevada Corp to set up production lines for a design already in production elsewhere. If Sierra Nevada can simply assemble kits from Embraer it'll go faster, but it may not meet the Made in USA requirement. Which means Sierra Nevada has to find local suppliers for everything, which complicates things.

I'm aware of the first round ending badly because of the paperwork snafu, but wasn't aware of the full extent of improprieties for the second.

The Afghans may as well buy both and sort it out later, like we're doing with LCS.

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majr0d April 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Is cost not a factor?

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blight_ April 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I wish it was. It'll probably be the compromise they settle on, similar to how they couldn't agree on the Freedom or the Independence class LCS.

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Brad April 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm

It is about getting fire support for the ANA, not getting into a contest about the Texan vs. the Tucano. As you said, its about cost. How many howitzers can you buy for the cost of a Tucano. I see why you guys like to showcase your technical knowledge about the planes (we all know alot or else we would not be commenting in the first place) but its about the battlefield mission, not the specs of the Tucano vs the Texan vs some other plane, its about getting the ANA fire support. 20-30 LAS craft will NOT be able to cover all of Afghanistan. Its plain and simple. Sorry for thinking outside of the box on this but right is right….

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Jawid April 27, 2013 at 1:07 am

We don't need 100 more Airplane give us one but good for killing our enemies

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USS ENTERPRISE April 27, 2013 at 10:57 am

We would need more than one. Also, like I have been saying all along, if you want mass numbers of the Tucano, just save your money and use the tried, proven, and reliable A-10.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

Geez. "Past Army". What about current army? Your country is torn, its has Taliban members running the border between your country and Pakistan, it is a very tense and delicate conflict.

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majr0d April 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

very true

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USS ENTERPRISE April 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Sounds pretty accurate for right now.

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Brad April 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Enterprise, an A-10 is WAY out of league over there, too much money, too much maitanence, too technical of targeting. An A-10 is a tank buster and the Taliban does not have tanks. Artillery is the answer. There is a reason Jawid, who I'm guessing is actually on the ground over there in some type of function with the ANA, agreed with me, while all the people sitting comfy in the U.S want to compare the specs of various airplanes. Jawid said it best, the ANA needs what is best for killing the enemy.

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tiger April 29, 2013 at 4:29 am

Will you stop harping the A-10 as a solution. Too big, costs too much, required too much tech care, needs more training to fly, etc……..

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USS ENTERPRISE April 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Okay, I see that. But with rocket pods and, of course, that GUN, it can work as anti-personal. In fact, it has before in Afghanistan and Iraq. So really, the A-10 is kinda suited for this type of stuff, especially with the new weapons that are being added to its arsenal.

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Brad April 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

The gun is overkill for anti personell, each round is around $50. You do the math with the ANA's budget. A 3 second burst would spend half their money for the entire year (joking, somewhat, but you get the point). I know the A-10 is cool, but this article is not about what plane is the coolest, its about what kind of fire support would work best for the ANA, in their current situation.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Yes, A-10 is cool. But still, even with the cost of the rounds. Using the Air Force's likely path, how many of these Tucanoes will they by? How much will it cost? With the money spent on that purchase, you could have saved it or used it to buy more weapons for the A-10 or the Apache, which brings me to, what is wrong with the Apache?

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Jawid April 29, 2013 at 2:35 am

Sir,
By the time that Taliban and Alqaida was Kicked off by NATO or ISAF from Afghanistan. After that day it was not US war to prolong . do you agree whit this sir ?
After that when the time com's on 2002 that Afghan Army should start their duty's whit some old equipment& we pones US said that we give you gays new we pones , tanks , Aircraft no need off old one so, crash the old one's . they US army crash into peaces off junk our all tanks , we pones, trucks and etc.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Let me put it this way. Has the A-10 proven itself? Has it been reliable and rugged? Does it have an arsenal that supports our troops? Yes on every single one. Better than that F-35, and in a class of its own against that Tucano.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I am not saying that anyone needs A-10s, except the USA, considering its role.

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USS ENTERPRISE April 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

They need a 'push' to work. An air force that uses essentially free aircraft to smuggle drugs are NOT an effective fighting force.

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Pathfinder May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

That would be like saying that all male USAF training personnel sexually abuse their female candidates, because of a few bad apples that seriously need to be prosecuted and where, I believe. That comment would also be grossly unfair and inaccurate to many/most male USAF training personnel that would lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters and would see abusing there female colleagues and offensive and obscene breach of trust in need of severe prosecution under UCMJ

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