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Taliban Claims It Shot Down Attack Helicopter, Afghan MoD Denies (Video, Photos)

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Taliban Claims It Shot Down Attack Helicopter, Afghan MoD Denies (Video, Photos)

Afghan Air Force MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter fires its two FN M3P .50 Cal machine guns during a media demonstration, April 9, 2015, at a training range outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/Released)

On July 29, a MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light scout attack helicopter of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) crash landed in the southern province of Helmand.

The Taliban claimed that the helicopter was shot down by its fighters. A video showing the helicopter descending to the ground in a rapid speed surfaced on social media.

Later, however, the Afghan Ministry of Defense revealed that the military helicopter made an “emergency landing” following an operation in southern parts of Helmand’s capital, Lashkargah. The helicopter’s pilots were both unharmed during the landing.

More than 60 US-made MD 530F helicopters are now in service with the AAF. The helicopters can be armed with FN HMP400 gun pods with FN M3P .50 BMG heavy machine gun or with M260 rocket pods with 7 unguided Hydra 70 rockets.

The Taliban has been working to deplete the AAF by targeting its bases, equipment and pilots for a while now. Earlier this month, the group claimed that it destroyed three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in two “tactical attacks” on Kunduz Airport in northeastern Afghanistan. The first attack took place on July 11, while the second was on July 16.

The AAF inflicted heavy losses on Taliban and slowed down the group’s advance on several fronts in the last few months.


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