The A-29 Super Tucano attack aircrafts were handed over to the Afghan government one year ago and already these planes are carrying out one third of all airstrikes in the country, Afghan defense ministry said Saturday.
According to the MoD, the Afghanistan Air Force (AAF) carries out around 15 airstrikes across the country each day - of which five of these are conducted by A-29 planes.
Currently Afghanistan has 20 of these A-29 aircrafts in service and officials expect this number to increase to 25 by the end of the year.
“These aircraft have a high speed and are accurate in targeting, which is all done through its electronic devices. We mostly use these aircraft in the east, south, west and north of the country,” defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said.
In recent months, Afghan forces heavily relied on AAF support and as a result the number of airstrikes has increased.
However, the AAF has come under criticism in recent weeks regarding civilian casualties recorded in airstrikes.
“These aircraft have done a good job. We want (the US) to increase the number of A-29 and also give Afghan forces more modern aircraft to carry out much better operations,” Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani, head of the defense commission of parliament said.
“Afghanistan’s war is not an internal war, but it is an external war. This war should be conducted by Afghan forces. Thus, they should be supported in terms of ground and air forces,” Nazir Ahmadzai, a member of parliament said.
The A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts were handed over to the Afghan government one year ago by the United States and since then numerous pilots have been trained in the US to fly these planes.