Afghanistan Air Force Receives First Hercules Airlifters

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Afghanistan Air Force Receives First Hercules Airlifters
Afghanistan Air Force Receives First Hercules Airlifters
The Afghan Air Force (AAF) took delivery of two 'new' Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules transport aircraft during a ceremony at Kabul International Airport (IAP) on 9 October.

The surplus US Air Force C-130H platforms will be joined by two more at a later date as the AAF looks to reconstitute the fixed-wing medium transport capability it lost when its Alenia Aermacchi G222/C-27A airframes were axed earlier in the year.

The AAF will initially operate the four-engined aircraft with the assistance of air advisors from the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan, prior to assuming full responsibility itself. Once operational, the C-130Hs will augment the 26 single-engine Cessna 208B Grand Caravan light transport and utility aircraft that the AAF is in the process of receiving.

With 16 of the 20 contracted twin-engined G222/C-27As now sat mothballed at Kabul IAP, the AAF's procurement of four C-130Hs has been somewhat controversial, not least because the decision in late 2012 to scrap the G222/C-27A came just three-and-a-half years after the first aircraft was rolled out at a ceremony at Alenia Aeronautica's facility in Naples.

When it announced its intention to cancel the G222/C-27A programme, the US Department of Defense (DoD) cited Alenia's inability to generate the required number of mission capable aircraft. Alenia vigorously denied this claim, saying that with 12 of the 16 aircraft being mission capable (the remainder being sidelined for maintenance and other issues), the company was actually ahead of its contracted target at that time of six mission capable aircraft to cover Kabul. Eight aircraft would also be required to cover Kandahar once deliveries were complete.

Operationally, the decision to axe the G222/C-27A had considerable ramifications for the development of the AAF's organic fixed-wing airlift capabilities. Air mobility underpins troop transport, aerial resupply, medical evacuation, humanitarian relief, and liaison missions, and is central to the government's ability to maintain its authority over large tracts of the country that are not accessible by road or other means. As such, it is the cornerstone of the AAF's capability.

Though a larger and more capable aircraft than the G222/C-27A, the C-130H is also more expensive and complex. As such, it will require the training of additional crew members at a time when the AAF is having trouble filling the posts it already has.

Also, many of the problems associated with the G222/C-27A programme were endemic to the AAF as a whole, and will continue through to the C-130H. These include Afghan literacy rates, a lack of maintenance space, and a shortfall in the ground equipment that is supposed to be provided by the government. In fact, some of these issues will likely be magnified with a bigger and more complex aircraft to field.

Aside from the operational ramifications, there is also the question of the USD600 million investment that has already been ploughed into the G222/C-27A programme. As one source told IHS Jane's at the time of the DoD's announcement in late 2012: "People are scratching their heads at walking away from more than half-a-billion dollars of investment when it would only take another USD60 million to finish the contract. The real up-front investment has already been made - crews have already been trained and the infrastructure is already in place. We really don't know why [the DoD has made this decision]."
herki nich pas buat misi2 multiroleemoticon-Kiss
Yang menarik artikel soal C-27-nya, bukan Herkynya. edit...

ternyata C-27A, bekas upgrade itali
"new" emoticon-Ngakak
pas baca ada kata surpluss punya amerika emoticon-Ngakak

Iya gan idem... emoticon-Smilie ya selamat aja buat afganistan air force nya.... emoticon-Smilie


apa bedanya sama kita ? malah bekas oz pisan......