Afghan Air Force AC 208 Strike Platform Support | Security Risks Asia Made with Humane Club

Afghan Air Force AC 208 Strike Platform Support

Published Jun 12, 2019
Updated Apr 14, 2020

The United States Department of Defense has been awarded a new contract worth $24.3 million in support of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) to AAI Corporation or Textron Systems. The company will provide logistics support and maintenance training for AC-208 aircraft fleet of the AAF as per Khaama Report. Textron Systems will perform the work in Hamid Karzai International Airport. Pentagon also added that the company will complete the contract work by May 31, 2020. NATO-led Resolute Support mission is to Train, Advise, Assist Mission officials had earlier said that the alliance would step up efforts to triple the size of the Afghan Air Force by 2023 says Khaama report. Meanwhile 

Resolute Support is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). It was launched on 1 January 2015, following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, and the assumption of full security responsibility by the ANDSF. The Resolute Support Mission works closely with different elements of the Afghan Army, Police and Air Force. 

The Resolute Support Mission currently comprises around 17,000 personnel from 39 NATO Allies and partners countries. It operates with one ‘hub’ (Kabul/Bagram) and four ‘spokes’ (Mazar-e-Sharif in the north, Herat in the west, Kandahar in the south, and Laghman in the east). In addition to the train, advice and assist its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions:

As per Air Force Technology website, AC-208 Eliminator Armed Caravan with the Afghan Air Force is an advanced reconnaissance and ground attack aircraft designed and developed by Orbital ATK. It was built based on the design of Orbital ATK’s AC-208 Combat Caravan light attack aircraft. The aircraft is also referred to as the Block 2 version of the AC-208 Combat Caravan, which was originally built in 2009 under the US Combat Caravan programme. The Combat Caravan and the Eliminator are combat versions of the Cessna 208 Caravan utility aircraft. Eliminator is a light attack platform, which can be deployed in close air support (CAS) and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The AC-208 Eliminator features a highly sophisticated modular and reconfigurable weapon system.

The firing power of the aircraft is assisted by four AGM-114 dual rail Hellfire air-to-surface missiles (ASMs). The aircraft is also armed with 2.75in (70mm) rocket pods including the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) or Guided Advanced Tactical Rocket (GATR) or other guided rockets. Each wing is installed with a single guided rocket pod thus providing the AAF formidable strike potential.