Saturday 8 January 2022


By Lukas Müller in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer
This is an updated and expanded version of an article that was first published in the August/September 2020 newsletter of the Asian Air Arms Research Group. The article also updates information on Afghan L-39s featured in the author's book Wings over the Hindu Kush.
The Czechoslovak-made L-39 Albatros jet trainer was widely exported and enjoyed a long and successful career in service of many countries around the globe. Afghanistan received its first L-39s in 1977 with the last two examples being withdrawn only in the late 2000s or early 2010s, after at least 30 years of service. The story of Afghan L-39s might not be over yet, though: in December 2021, mechanics at Kabul airport, now under the command of the Taliban, began testing the engines of the remaining L-39s, with a clear ambition of bringing the long-grounded jets back to service. [1]

Wednesday 5 January 2022


By Farooq Bhai in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer

Pakistan has been a prolific user of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) since the late 1990s. In 2004, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) inducted the indigenous Satuma Jasoos II ''Bravo+'' UAV, becoming the first branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces to operate UAVs. The Pakistani Army (PA) soon followed suit with another indigenous type, the Uqab P1 UAV designed by Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS), which entered entered active service with the Pakistani Army in 2008. The design of the Uqab P1 was further refined after incorporating lessons learned during its service with the PA and an improved version, known as the Uqab P2, was later adopted by the Pakistani Navy (PN) in 2010.

Tuesday 4 January 2022


By Stijn Mitzer

Turkmenistan is a large recipient of Israeli arms and equipment, so far including weaponry like the TAR-21 assault rifle and several types of infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs). Arguably lesser known is Turkmenistan's inventory of Israeli-produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This until 2021 consisted of familiar types like the Elbit Skylark and Aeronautics Defense Orbiter 2B, both solely used for reconnaissance missions. These were acquired in the early-2010s, presenting Turkmenistan's first UAVs that were not target drones inherited from the Soviet Union.