Afghanistan receives first Black Hawk helicopters

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has taken delivery of its first four Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk transport and utility helicopters from the U.S. The announcement was made by the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, which released photos of AAF UH-60As being off-loaded from a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17.

In November 2016, the U.S. announced that it will procure, refurbish and upgrade 53 surplus U.S. Army UH-60As for the AAF. The U.S. intends to replace Afghanistan’s Mi-8/Mi-17 transport helicopters (of which there are fewer than 100 in service) with the UH-60A. Afghanistan could ultimately receive 159 UH-60As. One of the goals of the program was to have U.S. aid and assistance programs benefit the U.S. economy.

These will join 30 additional MD Helicopters MD-530F Cayuse Warrior (to join the AAF’s existing 27 MD-530Fs) armed scout helicopters and the remaining eight of 20 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) A-29 Super Tucano turboprop-powered close air support (CAS) attack aircraft.

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