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The Afghan Air Force (AAF) will be fully equipped and operational by 2016, National Defense Ministry Spokesperson General Zahir Azimi has said.

BIA quoted Azimi as saying that without a reliable air force equipped with all its related sections, it is difficult to independently defend the national sovereignty of the country and the present achievements and ensure domestic security.

The AAF will be equipped in such a way it can achieve its objectives in domestic and external security, while defending the air of Afghanistan.

As part of the formation and strengthening of the AAF, the US has delivered several Russian M-17 model V-5 helicopters.

The AAF is scheduled to receive 21 more helicopters by the end of 2012, Azimi added.

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By GlobalData