— Domani Spero
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We’re late on this, but last week, SIGAR released two letters to Secretary Hagel and to Air Force Secretary Deborah L. James concerning the failed G222 aircraft program for the Afghan Air Force.
Starting in 2008, DOD apparently initiated a program to provide 20 of these Italian-made aircraft to the Afghan Air Force. The Defense Department spent $486 million for these airplanes, which according to the SIGAR, “could not meet operational requirements in Afghanistan.” Sixteen of these aircraft were recently destroyed at Kabul International Airport, scrapped by the Defense Logistics Agency, and the remains were sold to an Afghan construction company for about $32,000 total. SIGAR calculates that the scrap was sold at roughly 6 cents a pound. The remaining four airplanes are reportedly stored at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, presumably to help fight the Taliban at some later date?
Here are the $486 million airplanes you paid for:
Here are the scrapped beauties at 6 cents a pound:
Here are the links to the letters:
According to Defense Industry Daily:
The G.222/C-27A was not known as an easy aircraft to maintain, but it does feature outstanding short runway performance, and offers proven performance in hot weather and high altitudes. That seemed to make it well-suited for work in Afghanistan. Was it well suited to the Afghans?
That would depend on whether the Afghans could keep them in the air. The USAF tried to address the spares and maintenance issue through the program’s structure, paying for extensive training through the US military, an initial spare parts inventory, ground support equipment, technical publications in English and Dari, and 3 years worth of contractor logistics support.
But it didn’t work.
These are not the only aircraft DOD purchased for the Afghan Air Force. Defense Industry Daily has a rundown of the timeline and the contracts here.
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