15 soldiers killed as two Afghan military helicopters collide and crash
October 14, 2020 11:29 AM
At least 15 people were killed after two Afghan Air Force helicopters collided in Nawa district of southern Helmand on Tuesday night, Afghan security sources said on Wednesday.
According to TOLOnews, the incident happened after the helicopters had dropped commandos off and were carrying wounded security forces.
Another source said that eight people were killed in the incident. The Afghan Ministry of Defence has not commented on the incident.
Omar Zwak, a spokesman for provincial governor, has confirmed there was an incident in Nawa district but has not provided details.
In September last, an MD 530 Afghan Air Force helicopter was crashed in Pul-e-Khumri city, the centre of northern Baghlan province, killing at least two pilots on board. The Ministry of Defence said that the helicopter crashed because of technical issues.
The incident happened in the Kaprak area of Pul-e-Khumri city. The Defence Ministry had launched an investigation into the incident.
The Afghan Air Force had received five MD-530 Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters inn November 2019.
The helicopters were delivered to Kandahar via a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft on October 27 and were reassembled for active service within ten days, according to a statement by the US-based defence contractor MD Helicopters Inc., as quoted by The Diplomat.
The five helicopters, according to the report, were part of total delivery of 30 helicopters ordered by the US Army under a wider $1.4 billion Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract issued in September 2017.
The 2017 contract entails the “procurement of an estimated quantity of 150 MD 530F aircraft and required production support services to include program management, delivery support, pilot training and maintenance” to be implemented by September 2022, according to the US Department of Defence (DoD), as quoted by The Diplomat.
The Diplomat quoted a contractor’s statement: “With the latest shipment, the number of MD 530F training and combat aircraft delivered to the Afghan Air Force has reached 60.”