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Afghan A-29 Pilots Still Using Unguided 'Dumb' Bombs


Afghanistan's new A-29 Super Tucano ground attack aircraft have increasingly been used against Taliban targets, but only with unguided "dumb" bombs, an official said.

The single-prop A-29s and the new MD-530 helicopters, both supplied by the U.S., were part of the "new capabilities" of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces that have improved their performance over last year, when the Taliban took over several districts and briefly overran the provincial capital of Kunduz, said Army Gen. Charles Cleveland.

"We are cautiously optimistic about the coming months because overall we do believe that they have some momentum right now," said Cleveland, the main spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO's Resolute Support mission, in a video briefing this week from Kabul to the Pentagon.

"We do believe that the ANDSF has performed better this year than they were performing last year," he said, referring to the Afghan forces. "They are getting better in employing their newer capabilities."

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