Taliban Show Off US-made Captured Aircraft And Helicopters After Taking Over Kabul

Taliban Show Off US-made Captured Aircraft And Helicopters After Taking Over Kabul
Disabled planes at Kabul airport – Credits: Natsecjeff

Following the historic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, pictures and video have begun to emerge of the military aircraft, as well as vehicles and other material, left behind.

The head of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, had announced that a total of 73 planes and helicopters, among other things, had been “demilitarized” at the airport before the last American troops left.

According to Independent open-source at least 48 individual aircraft, 16 fixed-wing planes, and 32 helicopters, in the imagery that has emerged from the airport in Kabul so far.


The fixed-wing types are all from the former Afghan military and include 8 A-29 Super Tucano light attack planes, 2 AC-208 armed light utility aircraft, 4 Cessna 208 Caravan utility aircraft, one C-130H Hercules transport plane, and alone Pilatus PC-12NG intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform.

The Afghan Air Force operated the country’s fleets of A-29s, AC-208s, Cessna 208s, and C-130Hs. Afghanistan’s Special Mission Wing (SMW), a separate dedicated special operations aviation force, had been the only unit to fly the PC-12NG.

The helicopters include 10 UH-60A+ Black Hawk and 10 Mi-8/Mi-17 Hip-series transports, as well as seven MD 530F Little Bird armed scouts, all of which had belonged to the now-defunct Afghan Air Force. Another five former U.S. State Department CH-46E Sea Knights are visible in the pictures and video that have come out, as well.


The U.S. military has said that all 73 of the aircraft that McKenzie mentioned are now permanently disabled. “They can look all they want but they can’t fly them,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told CNN this morning.

“Those aircraft will never fly again when we left,” General McKenzie had said yesterday. “They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone. Most of them were non-mission capable, to begin with, but certainly, they’ll never be able to be flown again.”


A number of fixed-wing planes and helicopters, including a number of A-29s, Cessna 208s, PC-12NGs, UH-60s, and Mi-8/Mi-17-types, managed to flee to neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikstan. You can read more specifically about the 46 aircraft that escaped to Uzbekistan’s Termez Airport here.

The pictures and video from Hamid Karzai International Airport also show various other materiel, including vehicles, ammunition, and body armor, among other things, that have now fallen into Taliban hands.



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