(Aftermath) A Mi-24 helicopter gunship with ten Polish soldiers on board has had to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan as concern over how forces are equipped increases.
The incident happened at 11.00 CET this morning, several dozen metres away from the Polish military base in Ghazni province, while the helicopter was taking off. No casualties have been reported.
The helicopter, acting as part of the QRF (Quick Reaction Force) was on a mission to assist Afghan police,
This is the second time the craft had to make an emergency landing, the first time as recently as 31 July this year.
The Soviet-era craft have had a poor safety record of late. One Mi-24 crashed in Poland in 2004 killing the pilot. Another crashed in March this year killing the pilot and injuring two on board.
Currently, the Polish armed forces possess 35 Mi-24, the first of which was purchased back in the 1970s..
In August, Polish Land Forces Commander Lt. Gen Waldemar Skrzypczak resigned, after accusing the Defence Ministry in Warsaw of “serious incompetence,” in not delivering badly needed equipment, including helicopters.
In September, the government increased the equipment fund to 1 billion zloty. Three new helicopters are currently on order.
Poland has 2,000 troops in Afghanistan with an additional 600 expected to beef up the presence next year.
|Liveleak on Facebook|