The Taliban have more than 100 Russian military helicopters, Russia claims
The head of a state-owned Russian arms export company says the Taliban have seized more than 100 Russian-made helicopters.
The head of a Russian state-owned company has said the Taliban will not be able to use them due to a lack of skilled maintenance staff and limited access to spare parts.
Since subduing the Afghan army, the Taliban have seized a large cache of weapons and vehicles, including at least 100 Mi-17 helicopters.
The British newspaper The Guardian reports that the Russian-made helicopters were bought by the United States for the Afghan armed forces because they are relatively cheap and easier to fly than the American-made UH-60 Black Hawks.
According to the Interfax News Agency, Alexander Mekhyev, head of the Russian state-owned company Rosoborone Exporter, said that Afghanistan has a large fleet of helicopters, including more than 100 different types of Mi-17 helicopters.
He said that of course this fleet needs repair, maintenance and supply of spare parts.
He added that a large part of the fleet has already been grounded.
It should be noted that the estimate of the number of Russian-made helicopters in Afghanistan by the head of the Russian state-owned company is significantly higher than the number previously reported.
A July report by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said the Afghan army had 56 Mi-17 helicopters, of which only 32 were usable.
The Mi-17 in Afghanistan is an export version of the Russian Mi-8 helicopter, which is manufactured at two plants in Russia, Kazan and Ulan-Ude.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. No evidence of their use in military operations has been found.
Mikhiu says the helicopters will not be able to fly by Russian standards as soon as servicemen stop working.
Dozens of Afghan pilots fled across the border into Uzbekistan with their military planes August 15 when the Taliban took control of Kabul.
The Uzbek government confirmed in a statement that 46 Afghan planes had landed there, including 24 helicopters that had crossed the border illegally.
Analysis of satellite images reveals that they include 19 Mi-17 and 9 Black Hawks helicopters.
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