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Afghanistan: A29 Super Tucano carries laser guided bomb for precision strikes


Since March 22, 2018, the Afghan Air Force has both introduced and increased the use of precision guided munitions in southern Afghanistan.

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Afghanistan A29 Super Tucano carries laser guided bomb for precision strikes 03 An Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucano (Picture source: US Air Force)


The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, also named ALX or A-29, is a Brazilian turboprop light attack aircraft designed and built by Embraer. The A-29 Super Tucano carries a wide variety of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, and was designed to be a low-cost system operated in low-threat environments.

“The recent addition of laser-guided bomb strike capability is huge for the Afghan Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Justin Williams, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisor Squadron commander in May 2018. 

Since the implementation of Laser Guided Bombs, nearly 96 percent of strikes have been successful and have led to a 30 percent increase in ground force commander desired effects on the battlefield and a greater overall mission success.

The capability, which consists of conventional bombs enabled with laser guidance kits, is almost entirely Afghan.

“The bombs are built by Afghan ammunitions specialists and loaded onto Afghan planes by Afghan maintainers,” Williams said. “This is one example of how the Afghan Air Force is assuming ownership across the board.”

As of May 11, 2018, A-29 Super Tucano pilots have supported approximately 30 Afghan ground missions with this technology, successfully dropping over 50 laser guided bombs on enemy targets.

“The Taliban like to hide in towns and places where civilians are,” said an Afghan Air Force A-29 pilot. “The Laser Guided Bomb lets me strike those places without hurting the local people.”


Afghanistan A29 Super Tucano carries laser guided bomb for precision strikesUsing laser-guided technology, the Afghan Air Force pilots are able to strike with extreme precision, limiting civilian casualties while still having a greater, more profound effect on the battlefield”(Picture source: Twitter)


Williams echoed the Afghan pilot’s comments: “Using laser-guided technology, the Afghan Air Force pilots are able to strike with extreme precision, limiting civilian casualties while still having a greater, more profound effect on the battlefield,” Williams said.

Afghan Air Force members are constantly working with their train, advise and assist coalition partners to develop new capabilities that create a more professional, capable and sustainable Afghan Air Force.

The implementation of laser-guided bombs comes just two years after the Afghan Air Force gained air strike capabilities in the A-29 and is part of an overall effort to modernize the Afghan Air Force and give it a lethal advantage over the enemy.


Afghanistan A29 Super Tucano carries laser guided bomb for precision strikes 02 Afghan A-29 (Picture source: Twitter)