Taliban Working on Restoring Jet Aircraft Captured from Government

December 10, 2021

The row over the amount of equipment that the Taliban captured from the Afghan government after its collapse has barely settled, but now news is coming out of Afghanistan that will likely rekindle it.

A report by Al Jazeera has shown that the Taliban are working to restore not just some of the helicopters that they captured, but also some jet aircraft that have fallen into their hands. The footage shows ground crew conducting a run up of the engine of a L-39 attack trainer.

The Afghan Air Force received 26 L-39Cs in the late 1970s. These were gradually whittled down until it was thought only three remained by the mid-2000s. They then received an overhaul but were only used for parades by the Afghan government during the period of the NATO intervention in the country.

These aircraft have largely been languishing for years in storage, and it is somewhat surprising that the Taliban have managed to get the aircraft’s engines to run at all. Of course, it is quite a jump from conducting an engine run and getting the aircraft flying, but the Taliban do seem determined to get as much of their captured hardware operational as they can.

Al Jazeera also showed a number of A-29 Tucano attack aircraft on display. These were supplied by the United States and performed most of the combat missions flown by the Afghan Air Force against the Taliban. The aircraft are thought to have been damaged before their capture by their crews, though the level of the sabotage is unknown.

The report also shows rows of American supplied “Little Bird” and UH-60 helicopters, at least one of latter appears to be operational.

The Taliban are apparently also trying to restore An-32 transport aircraft back into service. These were retired in 2011, but like most of this old Soviet era equipment, has proven exceptionally resilient and durable. It remains to be seen just how many aircraft the Taliban are going to be able to get operational from their captured horde. But they evidently have the determination to get at least some of it back in the skies.

Big shout out to Oryx blog for their coverage of this issue, check out their article HERE on the subject.

Related:

Equipment Losses in Afghanistan

That Which Sees All; The Paramount Mwari

That Which Sees All; The Paramount Mwari

The war in Ukraine has been dominating the military headlines for the best part of a year now, and that has also meant that discussions about weapon systems has, understandably, been largely about those used in large scale conventional conflict – tanks, artillery and...

The Jaguar M; When the Big Cat Went to Sea

The Jaguar M; When the Big Cat Went to Sea

The late 1960s was a bit of a rough period for the NATO carrier fleet…at least if you weren’t American. A number of nations had taken the opportunity after the Second World War to avail themselves of the large number of surplus vessels – basically British – that had...

Soviet Built Tanks for the Invasion of Malta

Soviet Built Tanks for the Invasion of Malta

Situated as it is in the heart of the Mediterranean between the Italian peninsula and Africa, Malta has long been of great strategic importance. For millennia, people have fought for control of this island, using its position to dominate the surrounding seas. And the...

Dr. Anna Kruglova – How ISIS Used Marketing to Sell Themselves

Dr. Anna Kruglova – How ISIS Used Marketing to Sell Themselves

Had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Anna Kruglova of the University of Salford on her specialist subject - how ISIS used marketing to recruit and spread their message. We also discuss how the same techniques are being used by other movements now. Dr. Kruglova’s...

The Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star; Charlie’s Silent Stalker

The Lockheed YO-3A Quiet Star; Charlie’s Silent Stalker

While the Vietnam War saw several very large conventional battles fought, probably the most iconic image of the war, and the experience of most of the belligerents, was of a grinding guerrilla conflict where the forces of the United States and their allies spent a...