Taliban's new Arsenal: Here's what the Western troops left behind

Soldiers from the Afghan National Army rehearse crew drills on a D30 122mm Howitzer in Shirzai, Afghanistan on Feb. 11, 2007. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus J. Quarterman

As the evacuations of Western troops in Afghanistan come to an end, the Taliban's newly found American arsenal is not just limited to several rounds of ammo or couple hundred rifles. 

Estimating by the reports submitted by the congressional source and early assessments provided by the defense officials, the Taliban now likely possess several Black Hawk helicopters and other military aircraft. 

Vehicles and aircraft

According to the Government Accountability Office report, The U.S. provided 75,898 vehicles and 208 aircraft to the Afghan military and security forces between 2003 and 2016. 

Quantities and examples of key U.S.-funded Military Vehicles for Afghanistan. OPENTHEBOOKS.COM

The group got a hold of A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft along with several Black Hawks. 

The cost of a Black Hawk helicopter can be up to $21 million. An order for 20 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft for $427 was placed by the United States in 2013. 

U.S.-Funded Aircraft For the Afghan Forces.  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM

Weapons, communications equipment, and night vision googles

According to the GAO reports, the U.S equipped Afghan forces with at least 600,000 infantry weapons, which included M16 rifles, 162,000 communication equipment, and 16,000 night-vision goggles. 

Key Weaponry funded by the U.S. into Afghanistan.  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM

The howitzer, a modern cannon used by the U.S military, can cost up to $500,000 per unit, but the price ranges from $200,000 depending on the model. There's GPS guidance on fired shells at the expensive models. 

According to the DLA, a common M16 rifle can cost up to $750, but adding a grenade launcher to the rifle may push the price up to $12,032. 

Even while the sights on night-vision sniper rifle scopes can cost up to $35,000, the majority of them cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

Key U.S.-Funded Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Equipment into Afghanistan.  OPENTHEBOOKS.COM

Surveillance Ballons

Each surveillance balloon in the Aerostat system costs $8.9 million. According to current procurement news, each ScanEagle drone costs over $1.4 million. Even as late as 2021, the Wolfhounds radio monitoring systems approached a total of $874,000.

Night-vision goggles 

The cost of the 16,000 night-vision goggles alone might be as much as $80 million. The DLA charged between $2,742 and $5,000 for each pair of high-tech goggles. Image intensifiers, for example, are generally priced at $10,747 apiece; but, more complex ones might cost up to $66,000 each.

Radio equipment 

Radio equipment costs a lot of money: receiver-transmitters ($210,651), sophisticated radio sets ($61,966), amplifiers ($28,165), repeater sets ($28,527), and frequency deployment sets ($18,908).

Operating the equipment

Earlier this month, a video of Taliban militants failing to fly the seized Black Hawk went viral on social media sites. Many people went far as to even mock the "pilot", calling him an 'idiot'. 

The Taliban neither have the technology nor the expertise to operate the equipment. The arsenal left behind by the U.S military is bound to go obsolete or would be sold out to other parties looking to acquire U.S technology. 

Reports included from Forbes and Reuters 

Publish : 2021-08-31 14:35:00

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