Afghan AAF Training Getting Its Own Air Traffic Control
The Afghan Air Force has been growing slowly, but it is moving closer to independence. Learning to fix their own machines, and moving fixed-wing and helicopter training in-house, are major steps toward that goal. Making that goal happen requires Air Traffic Control and Landing System and navigational aids, and the USAF has contracted with Kuanta Insaat Taahhut Elektronik Tur, San VE TIC.A.S. in Ankara, Turkey to provide it. The $7.4 million firm-fixed-price contract will support the flying training program at Shindand Air Base, Afghanistan, and work is expected to be complete by December 2015. The USAF’s ESC/HBAK at Hanscom AFB, ME, manages the contract (FA8730-12-C-002).
The AAF’s flying training is currently built around Cessna 182 Turbo Skylane light aircraft, and MD-530F helicopters, both of which began arriving in country in September 2011. Helicopter pilots go on to fly the AAF’s Mi-17s and Mi-35s, while fixed wing pilots will go on to fly the AAF’s larger Cessna 208 light transport and surveillance planes, its new C-27A transports, one of the AAF’s few remaining L-39 Albatros jet trainer and light attack aircraft, or the eventual winner of the contested Light Air Support contract in the United States.