The United States has approved a plan to provide Ch-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the Special Mission Wing of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
The story was first reported by Khaama Press News Agency, which cited a December 2019 report to Congress, titled Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.
The U.S. Department of Defense informed regarding the planned delivery of the heavy-lift helicopters in its semiannual report which it recently provided to the U.S. Congress, covering events during the period of June 1 to November 30, 2019.
The specific report stated that the U.S. planned to provide an undisclosed number of CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters to Afghanistan with the necessary equipment and training to improve the country its capacity. Specifically, the Chinooks will be delivered to the Special Mission Wing to support its counter-terrorism operations. It will fully replace the Russian made Mi-17 helicopters by the end of 2023 in that role. It is unknown if the Chinooks will be new builds or refurbished airframes.
According to a Scramble Magazine, Afghanistan’s air force operates 45 Mi-17 helicopters, of which 23 are fully ready. As of late December 2019, 11 helicopters required overhaul due to the end of their usable lives. Four helicopters were sent to Bulgaria for overhaul, and seven more were being repaired or awaiting overhaul.