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Friday, March 06, 2015

Afghan Military to Receive A-29 Close Air Support Planes in December

A-29 Super TucanoThe Afghan military will be without its own fixed-wing close air support for another fighting season this summer against the Taliban, with the first of 20 A-29 Super Tucano turboprops expected to begin arriving in December.

"This is a huge asset they're looking forward to getting inside Afghanistan," Army Gen. John Campbell told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, but "they won't have much for the next fighting season."

The U.S. Air Force's $427 million program to provide A-29s to the Afghan military has been caught up in long-running contract disputes and delays in the training of Afghan Air Force air and ground crews, leaving the Afghan military overly-reliant on the U.S. for close air support in combat.

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