The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has delivered three fully refurbished Mi-17 military helicopters to the Afghan Air Force at Kabul Airport.
Originally declared as ‘unfit for service and heavily damaged’, the Mi-17 fleet underwent a complete redevelopment and upgrade to extend the service life of the aircraft.
The return of the upgraded helicopters to the airforce inventory will ensure a significant improvement in the operational airlift capability, as well as the effectiveness and sustainability of the service.
The NSPA committed to carrying out repair and overhaul services on the aircraft at the request of the US Department of Defense and ensured the aircraft would be returned to service with the Afghan Air Force as quickly as possible.
As part of the overhaul, maintenance and repair activities on the helicopters were managed by NSPA through a number of contracts with various repair and overhaul sources.
On 28 July, the Antonov An-124 Ruslan strategic airlift jet aircraft, chartered by NSPA, picked up the refurbished Mi-17 helicopters at different locations across Europe in order to complete their delivery to Afghanistan.
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The Mi-17 medium, twin-turbine transport helicopter is the main rotary wing platform operated by the Afghan Air Force.
The helicopters are used to conduct missions such as providing remote outposts in critical areas with supplies and ensuring safe movement of troops and police.