Kabul/New Delhi, Aug 30: 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.