TomcatViP

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Dear fellow forumers,

This thread is dedicated to the order of battle of the Afghan Air Force post Taliban takeover of the country (a rapid campaign that led to the fall of Kabul in August 2021 only a month after US and allies military disengaged from active battle duties).

The Afghan air force operated a total of 211 aircraft, with about 167 planes and helicopters available for use as of June 30, according to a July report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
So far, the Defense Department has not confirmed how many of those aircraft have been captured by the Taliban, how many of that sum are still operable and how many aircraft have been safely flown by Afghan air force pilots to relative safety in neighboring countries.
[...]
The Afghan air force operated 23 A-29 attack planes, four C-130 cargo planes and a total of 33 militarized versions of the Cessna Caravan, some of which were configured for a light attack mission, according to the special inspector report.

It also flew about 150 helicopters, which included the American-made UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and armed MD-530s, as well as the Soviet Mi-17, which the Afghan air force was in the process of retiring.


View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1426488151955152896
 
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riggerrob

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Since Taliban only captured Super Tucanos and militarized Cessna 208 Caravans, they are seriously under-gunned compared with most NATO air forces. This shortage of flying firepower makes Afghanistan much easier to invade - though no large country would want to dive into that sort of disaster. Minimal firepower also means that Taliban cannot bomb neighboring countries into accepting Taliban ideology.
 

Archibald

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Sure. The Americans were no fools on that matter: we are lucky they didn't passed F-15s and B-52s to the Afghans. And A-10s, when you think about it.
 

Archibald

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Since Taliban only captured Super Tucanos and militarized Cessna 208 Caravans, they are seriously under-gunned compared with most NATO air forces. This shortage of flying firepower makes Afghanistan much easier to invade - though no large country would want to dive into that sort of disaster. Minimal firepower also means that Taliban cannot bomb neighboring countries into accepting Taliban ideology.

Even the Ouzbeck air force can kill Tucanos, so they are probably not a major issue.
 

riggerrob

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Dear TomcatVIP,
That Twitter feed is a bit confusing because it miss-names the light helicopters.
They started as Hughes 500 models. The US Army flew Hughes 500 LOACHs in Viet Nam as artillery spotters.
After Boeing bought out Hughes, they were re-named MD-500. The MD-530 is a later version of the same basic air frame.
 

zebedee

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After Boeing bought out Hughes, they were re-named MD-500.
It's a little more complicated than that...! McDonnell Douglas bought out Hughes, rebranding it as McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, the 500 then becoming the MD 500, McDonnell Douglas were then bought by Boeing who sold off the civil helicopter line (MD 500, MD 600, MD 900) to Dutch Investors in 1999 as MD Helicopters Inc, after a proposed sale to Bell was thwarted by anti-trust concerns. Boeing kept the rights to the AH64 and NOTAR systems, licensing the NOTAR system back to MD helicopters. In 2005 MD Helicopters Inc was sold to Patriach Partners, and Boeing bought the rights back from them to market military versions of the AH6/MH6 airframe derived from the Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB), this has caused a number of legal tussles between the two with both sides attempting to stop the others military sales.

A far more exhaustive description of the legal issues is available here:

Boeing wins legal battle with MDHI over AH-6i rights

To get back on topic, the Afghan examples are from the MD Helicopters production line if I remember correctly.

Zeb
 

muttly

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Some of the planes were flown out by their pilots. what kind
were flown out?
 

dumpster4

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Some of the planes were flown out by their pilots. what kind
were flown out?
According to:


"The satellite imagery, as well as other pictures that have now appeared on social media, make clear that the fleeing Afghan aircraft included more types than just A-29s. There appear to be at least five Cessna 208B Caravans, which could include AC-208 types fitted with sensor turrets and capable of firing 70mm Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) laser-guided rockets in addition to the standard light utility versions, among the fixed-wing types. Another 11 of the fixed-wing planes look to be Pilatus PC-12NG intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft.

The helicopters look to be a mix of Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip and UH-60 Black Hawk transport helicopters, with what looks to be 19 and 7 of each type, respectively. There do not appear to be any of the late Afghan Air Force's fleet of smaller Hughes 530F Little Bird armed scout helicopters now at Termez."
 

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TomS

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I feel like they're going to get far more use out of the ex-Afghan Air Force Mi-17s. And honestly, even the Black Hawks. Look for Turkey to be their main suppliers, though.
 

Grey Havoc

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From a few days ago:


Look for Turkey to be their main suppliers, though.
You don't think Pakistan will be willing or else able to be able to provide support to their proxies in this regard?
 

TomS

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From a few days ago:


Look for Turkey to be their main suppliers, though.
You don't think Pakistan will be willing or else able to be able to provide support to their proxies in this regard?

Turkey was taking over airport operations, supposedly, which sounds liek a foot in the door to becoming a major supplier.


Plus. they build and operate S-70s, which Pakistan does not.
 

NoBarrelRolls

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Iran?

Look below: 4 CH-46 non-air worthy (?) that we can identify:

View attachment 663433

View: https://twitter.com/i/status/1432457587576950788

All this can constitute pricey spares for trade.
They look more like the CH-46s of the Department of State Air Wing, one of them with a thick coat of dust...
message-editor_1629330002545-state-department-ch-46.jpg


According to The Drive, they left 7 examples behind
https://defensepoliticsasia.com/the...andoned-its-ch-46-helicopters-in-afghanistan/
 

batigol

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Grey Havoc

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Back to the matter at hand. Has anyone heard what the new air branch of the 'Islamic Defence Force of Afghanistan' is going to be called?

EDIT: On a side note regarding the negotiations over Kabul Airport:
The Taliban is talking with Qatar and Turkey over how to run Kabul's airport, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, but it could take days or weeks to finalise those negotiations.
 
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Grey Havoc

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Taliban fighters on Tuesday secured helicopters that had been disabled and left behind by American forces at the Kabul airport.

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Taliban fighters on Tuesday secured helicopters that had been disabled and left behind by American forces at the Kabul airport. Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

Regarding some of the woes of the Afghan Air Force in its final days:
Still, we kept fighting. But then Mr. Biden confirmed in April he would stick to Mr. Trump’s plan and set the terms for the U.S. drawdown. That was when everything started to go downhill.
The Afghan forces were trained by the Americans using the U.S. military model based on highly technical special reconnaissance units, helicopters and airstrikes. We lost our superiority to the Taliban when our air support dried up and our ammunition ran out.
Contractors maintained our bombers and our attack and transport aircraft throughout the war. By July, most of the 17,000 support contractors had left. A technical issue now meant that aircraft — a Black Hawk helicopter, a C-130 transport, a surveillance drone — would be grounded.
The contractors also took proprietary software and weapons systems with them. They physically removed our helicopter missile-defense system. Access to the software that we relied on to track our vehicles, weapons and personnel also disappeared. Real-time intelligence on targets went out the window, too.
The Taliban fought with snipers and improvised explosive devices while we lost aerial and laser-guided weapon capacity. And since we could not resupply bases without helicopter support, soldiers often lacked the necessary tools to fight. The Taliban overran many bases; in other places, entire units surrendered.

Mr. Biden’s full and accelerated withdrawal only exacerbated the situation. It ignored conditions on the ground. The Taliban had a firm end date from the Americans and feared no military reprisal for anything they did in the interim, sensing the lack of U.S. will.
 

muttly

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If the army ran out of ammo, then how did the Taliban capture
so much of it.
 

Grey Havoc

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The rapidly crumbling logistics infrastructure increasingly couldn't get it to where it was needed, and there were major shortages of some of the more specialised munitions I believe.
 

Grey Havoc

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On a side note:
 

TomcatViP

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From the link above:
The Afghan pilot who spoke to Reuters estimated there were about 15 pilots who flew A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, 11 pilots who flew UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 12 pilots who flew MD-530 helicopters and many Mi-17 helicopter pilots.
 

Grey Havoc

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Interestingly the Russians seem to have cooled on their earlier ah, enthusiasm for the new regime:

Russia will not attend Taliban government inauguration​

Russia will not take part "in any way" in the Taliban government's inauguration ceremony in Afghanistan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
"We do not know how this situation will develop. That is why we say that it is important for us to understand what the first and subsequent steps of the current leadership of Afghanistan will be," he said.
Earlier in the week, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said Russia would be represented at the inauguration by ambassador-level officials, the RIA news agency had reported.
On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia was in talks with the Taliban to facilitate the evacuation from Afghanistan of nationals of other countries.
"Many are asking us to help bring out of Afghanistan nationals of third countries, as well as some Afghans. We are not doing this covertly; we too are in talks with Taliban leaders in relation to certain categories of people and we are doing this," he told a news conference in Moscow.

This likely means that we won't seeing much in the way of new acquisitions from Russia for the Taliban military, at least in the short term.
 

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