AFGHANISTAN – In Afghanistan’s continued effort to independently battle counterinsurgency, a new tool will be added to their arsenal designed to allow versatility, reconnaissance and precision weapons placement to the growing Afghan air force.

Announced Dec. 30, the U.S. Air Force has approved a contract worth more than $350 million that will provide the Afghan air force with at least 20 A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft, ground training devices and all associated maintenance and support equipment originally slated to arrive mid-to-late 2013.

Shortly after a Nevada company had been given the green light to produce 20 manned spy planes for training pilots and fighting insurgents in Afghanistan, the Air Force halted work on the contract when a competitor protested the bid in Federal Claims Court.

Read more here.