Afghan inducts Mi-25 gunship helicopters offered by India

20 January 2016 (Last Updated January 20th, 2016 18:30)

The Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) has inducted three of the four Mi-25 gunship helicopters supplied by India to the Afghan Air Force (AAF).

Mil_Mi-24PN_Dvurekov-6.jpg

The Afghan Ministry of Defence (MoD) has inducted three of the four Mi-25 gunship helicopters supplied by India to the Afghan Air Force (AAF).

The aircraft will replace the fleet of ageing Mi-35 helicopters and support Afghanistan in combating Taliban militants.

Afghan Defence Ministry procurement deputy chief Ghulam Sakhi Ahmadzai was quoted by Tolo news agency as saying: "We have always been helped by India.

"The helicopters donated by India to Afghanistan have been assembled and will help us fight terrorists."

India has offered to train Afghan Air Force pilots to operate the aircraft.

AAF commander Abdul Wahab Wardak was quoted by the news agency as saying: "The helicopters are very suitable for the climate and the location of the country and they can give further morale to the security forces in their operations against terrorists."

"The helicopters are very suitable for the climate and the location of the country and they can give further morale to the security forces in their operations against terrorists."

The Russian-built Mi-25 is equipped with a YakB four-barrelled, 12.7mm, built-in, flexibly mounted machine gun, which has a firing rate of 4,000-4,500 rounds a minute and a muzzle velocity of 860m/s.

Last week, AAF received four A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the US Air Force as part of the A-29 programme aimed at training the Afghan pilots in employing weapon system and defending the country from insurgents.

The country will also receive a new batch of 12 MD 530F helicopters equipped with enhanced mission equipment.

The AAF received the first 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters last year and currently operates a fleet of 16 MD 530F choppers.


Image: India has offered to train Afghan Air Force pilots in operating the helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Igor Dvurekov.