Last Updated on September 11, 2022
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter manned by Taliban militants crashed in Kabul on Saturday, September 10, killing three. According to a statement from the group’s defense ministry, the fatal crash took place during a training exercise. The Taliban acquired several U.S.-produced aircraft meant for the Afghan Armed Forces during the group’s rapid takeover of the country last August.
“An American Black Hawk helicopter, which was flown … for training, crashed due to a technical problem inside the campus of the National Defense University,” said Taliban Ministry of Defense spokesman Enayatullah Khowarazmi. Five additional Taliban personnel were injured in the crash, he added.
#Taliban lost a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter today. This footage shows the moment of crash of the former #Afghanistan Air Force helicopter in Marshal military academy of #Kabul today. Eight people have lost their lives including pilot & co-pilot of this helicopter. pic.twitter.com/meVid4J4fl
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) September 10, 2022
The Taliban took control of a number of U.S.-made aircraft and drones meant for the Afghan National Army (ANA) during their takeover last June. In one widely circulated video from the takeover, a number of Blackhawk helicopters could be seen in a Kandahar aircraft hangar.
Over the course of the 20-year war, the U.S. spent close to $83 billion to build up Afghanistan’s military. Most of this military hardware was abandoned without a fight, leaving the Taliban with Blackhawk Helicopters, Scan Eagle UAV drones, A-29B Super Tucanos and MI-35’s, among several other models of top-grade military vehicles and aircraft. The militant group also seized hundreds of HUMVEEs and thousands of U.S.-produced small arms.
#Taliban seized Blackhawks on #Kandahar airport pic.twitter.com/Uv9iIo1HDu
— C4H10FO2P (@markito0171) August 14, 2021
Khowarazmi told Reuters that the Taliban had recently repaired a number of aircraft and were flying them over Kabul in test flights. He did not confirm the exact make or country of origin, saying only that “all types of aircraft” were being tested.
It was unclear who had provided the Taliban with the technical expertise required to repair the helicopters. The group claims that a number of former ANA technicians and mechanics willfully joined the militant group’s new government after the takeover last August.
The defense ministry also said in a statement that its engineering team had recently repaired 35 tanks, 15 Humvee armored vehicles and 20 U.S.-produced Navistar 7000 military vehicles, Reuters reported. All of the equipment was damaged during fighting last summer.
U.S. troops reportedly destroyed more than 70 aircraft and dozens of armored vehicles and disabled air defenses before flying out of Kabul’s airport in a hectic evacuation.