India plans to donate four Mi-24 gunships to Afghan Air Force

India is planning to donate four Mi-24 gunships to Afghanistan, the Hindustan Times newspaper writes.According to Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India Shaida Abdali, India will buy four Hind combat helicopters from Belarus and donate them to Kabul.

IAF Mi 24 for afghanistan 001 A Belarusian Air Force Mi-24V combat helicopter
(Credit: Belarus MoD)

"We have recently signed a trilateral [India, Afghanistan, Belarus] MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] … India will acquire four Mi-24s [which will be delivered] in the next few months. All the rotorcraft will be bought by India," the Afghan official said quoted by the Hindustan Times.

It should be mentioned that Kabul urgently requires the aforementioned combat helicopters for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. "India has been kind enough to agree to that request… Afghanistan will have ready helicopters that will be used in the coming season," Shaida Abdali added.

India is reported to have donated four Hinds to the Afghan Air Force (AAF) in 2015-2016.

According to the Afghan diplomat, several Mi-24 gunships have been grounded due to the lack of spare parts. "India is hammering out a plan to help repair and refurbish these Mi-24s and other Russian-originated helicopters and transport aircraft of the AAF," Shaida Abdali said quoted by the Hindustan Times.

The variant of the Mi-24 gunships to be acquired from Belarus has not been specified. According to the Military Balance 2017 analytical book published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Belarusian military operated four Mi-24 helicopters as of early 2017. Therefore, India is expected to acquire these platforms and donate them to Afghanistan

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