The Afghan Air Force received an addition to its forces last week with the arrival of the ninth C-27A Spartan transport aircraft at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul, creating an 11% immediate increase in the number of C-27s and brings the AAF closer to its ultimate goal of 20 Spartans.
The C-27A is a rugged, twin-engine turboprop aircraft with short take-off and landing capability. The Spartan is well suited for Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain and limited road network. These obstacles make air power critical to the mobility of the Afghan National Security Forces. A C-27 can carry up to 20,000 pounds of cargo and fuel and operate on unimproved airfields as short as 3,000 feet, which allows access to airstrips unreachable by most fixed-wing aircraft.
Seen as a key contributor to the future of the Afghan Air Force, the C-27 is fazing out the Antonov-32 transport aircraft as the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s cargo/transport mission, said Maj. Jay Troxell, a C-27 advisor with the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan/538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron.
Troxell, who helped fly the aircraft from Italy to Kabul, believes that the new C-27 also brings value not only in bolstering the size of the AAF’s fixed wing assets, but provides a good training platform for the force’s developing pilot corps.
The Afghan Air Force is expected to receive its 10th C-27A Spartan in early February. These new aircraft will provide increased support for the Afghan National Security Force.