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Afghanistan receives further Super Tucanos ahead of 2017 fighting season

20 March 2017
Four A-29 Super Tucanos arrive at the Kabul Air Wing in Afghanistan on 20 March ahead of the beginning of the 2017 fighting season. The aircraft will bolster the Afghan Air Force's inventory from eight to 12 A-29s in country. Source: US Air Force

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has received a further four Embraer-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprops ahead of the commencement of the 2017 'fighting season'.

The Super Tucanos arrived at Kabul International Airport on 20 March where they will be used by the Kabul Air Wing following a brief reconfiguration to make them ready for combat operations (the fitting of guns, etc).

With 12 of the 20 aircraft currently under contract now in Afghanistan and one lost in an accident on 6 March, the remaining seven are located at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia for use as training platforms ahead of their eventual relocation to Kabul. A further four aircraft have been requested also, although it remains to be seen if the aircraft lost will be replaced.

Powered by a single 1,600 SHP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine, the Super Tucano carries two 12.7 mm machine guns (200 rounds each) in the wings, and can be configured with additional underwing weaponry such as 20 mm cannon pods, additional 12.7 mm machine guns, rockets pods, precision-guided munitions, and/or 'dumb' bombs of up to 1,500 kg. It has a seven-hour endurance, and can operate from semi-prepared air fields.

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