A private security firm known as Lancaster6 has offered to provide the government of Afghanistan with a “turnkey air wing” with range of aviation assets. A look at the aircraft it offers:
Once flown by Sen. John McCain, the A-4 Skyhawk was a carrier-based aircraft used by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps squadrons from 1956 to 1987. Made by McDonnell Douglas, the A-4 served as a light attack aircraft and could also carry tactical nuclear weapons.
Using the same airframe as a crop duster, the T-Bird has advanced sensors for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and it can be fitted with weapons such as 57 mm rocket launchers and twin 23 mm cannon. It is made by the Bulgarian company Light Armed Surveillance Aircraft (LASA) Engineering Ltd.
The five-seat helicopter is used for reconnaissance, transport and light attack missions. Both the French and British militaries use the helicopter, which can be fitted by anti-tank rockets and a 20 mm cannon. The Gazelle is manufactured under a joint production agreement between Aérospatiale and Westland Aircraft.
Produced from 1969 to 1986, the AN-26 is a light transport aircraft that can carry up to 40 passengers for air mobility missions. One version of the aircraft has twin 30 mm cannon to support troops on the ground. The airplane was built by Antonov, which is now part of the Ukrainian state-run defense industry Ukroboronprom.
The Lionseye is a proprietary aircraft provided by Lancaster6. It can fly for 12 continuous hours for day or night missions.
Made by the European company Airbus, the Super Puma can carry up to 24 troops and a crew of two for transport missions. For medical evacuation flights, it can carry six passengers in stretchers plus 10 other passengers. The helicopter is also able to lift 4.5 tons with a sling.