Putting price tags on US military equipment left behind in Afghanistan
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Kabul/New Delhi : The US provided an estimated $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001. This year, alone, the US military aid to Afghan forces was $3 billion, Forbes reported.Putting price tags on American military equipment still in Afghanistan isn’t an easy task. In the fog of war, or withdrawal, Afghanistan has always been a black box with little sunshine, the report said.Between 2003 and 2016, the US purchased and provided 75,898 vehicles and 208 aircraft, to the Afghan army and security forces, according to a Government Accountability Office report.Forbes reported estimated vehicle costs:Armoured personnel carriers such as the M113A2 cost $170,000 each and recent purchases of the M577A2 post carrier cost $333,333 each.Mine resistant vehicles ranges from $412,000 to $767,000. The total cost could range between $382 million to $711 million.Recovery vehicles such as the ‘truck, wrecker’ cost between for the base model $168,960 and $880,674 for super strength versions.Medium range tactical vehicles include 5-tonne cargo and general transport trucks were priced at $67,139. However, the family of MTV heavy vehicles had prices ranging from $235,500 to $724,820 each. Cargo trucks to transport airplanes cost $800,865. Humvees – ambulance type (range from $37,943 to $142,918 with most at $96,466); cargo type, priced at $104,682. Utility Humvees were typically priced at $91,429. However, the 12,000 lb. troop transport version cost up to $329,000.
Light tactical vehicles: Fast attack combat vehicles ($69,400); and passenger motor vehicles ($65,500). All terrain 4-wheel vehicles go up to $42,273 in the military databases.This month, the Taliban seized Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft. Black Hawk helicopters can cost up to $ 21 million.In 2013, the US placed an order for 20 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft for $427 million – that’s $21.3 million for each plane. Other specialised helicopters can cost up to $37 million each.The Afghan air force contracted for C 208 light attack airplanes in March 2018: seven planes for $84.6 million, or $12.1 million each. The airplanes are very sophisticated and carry HELLFIRE missiles, anti-tank missiles and other weaponry.The PC-12 intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance airplanes use the latest in technology. Having these planes fall into Taliban control is disconcerting. Civilian models sell new for approximately $5 million each and the military planes could sell for many times that price.Basic fixed-wing airplanes range in price from $3.1 million to $22 million in the DLA database.Since 2003 the US gave Afghan forces at least 600,000 infantry weapons, including M16 rifles, 162,000 pieces of communication equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggle devices, according to the GAO report.The howitzer is the modern cannon for the US military and each unit can cost up to $500,000; however most are in the $200,000 price range. At the higher end, there’s GPS guidance on fired shells, Forbes said.A common price of a M16 rifle is $749, according to DLA. Adding a grenade launcher can push the price of the M16 to $12,032. M4 carbine rifles are slightly more expensive with unit prices as high as $1,278.Just the sights on night-vision sniper rifle rifle scopes can run as high as $35,000, however, most vary in price between $5,000 and $10,000, Forbes said.