KABUL: A top US army general conducted the maiden flight of the newly-supplied UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in the presence of the senior defense officials. (Photos: NATO Resolute Support)
The maiden flight was conducted by the US army Major General Neil Thurgood.
“U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Neil Thurgood flew a UH-60 helicopter, which will soon join the Afghan Air Force fleet as part of the AAF’s modernization program,” the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
The statement further added “During the trip to Kandahar Airfield, the Assistant Minister of Defense for Strategy and Plans Tamim Asey and the 205th Corps Commander Afg. Maj. Gen. Iman Nazar Behbod joined Thurgood for a flight in the newly arrived Black Hawk.”
The first batch of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the Afghan Air Force arrived in southern Kandahar province on Monday.
The Afghan government and the country’s international allies including US and NATO have stepped up efforts to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan force and Air Force.
The introduction of UH-60 assault helicopter is included in the plans for the expansion of the Afghan Air Force, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission has said.
“The world is taking notice of Afghan Air Power and its success against the enemy. The Afghan Air Force will more than double their fleet of aircraft over the next seven years,” the Resolute Support mission said last week.
The statement further adds “Along with the new arrival of UH-60 Blackhawks this week, plans include the introduction of AC-208 light attack and surveillance aircraft, A-29 attack aircraft and additional UH-60 assault and MD-530 attack helicopters to the force.”