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Afghan Aircraft Purchase By U.S. Deemed As ‘Wasteful’

afghan aircraftA US watchdog has advised Pentagon not to go ahead with purchase of 48 aircraft for the Afghan military worth $780m due to their pilots lacking experience. They also said it could take ten years before the unit becomes self sufficient. Most of the 47 pilots of the Afghan Special Mission Wing, for whom the aircraft is intended, cannot fly at night seriously hampering their counter militancy mission capability. It has also been pointed out that it was difficult to find capable Afghan candidates who could pass the 18-20 month U.S. selection process for the pilots.

The aircraft purchase comprises of eighteen PC-12 fixed wing aircraft and thirty Mi-17 helicopters. But Michael Dumont, the U.S. deputy assistant defense secretary said it would delay the efforts of the defense department in making the Afghan Special Mission Wing a capable force.