US Air Force E-11A plane crashed in Afghanistan

A 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron E-11A aircraft outfitted with a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node sits on the runway at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, April 4, 2019. The 430th EECS is the only unit that operates these aircraft with the BACN payload. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

A US Air Force E-11A plane crashed in Taliban-held territory in south-west Afghanistan.

The initial reports indicated it was an Afghan Ariana passenger plane that crashed in Ghazni province with 83 people on board, but late the state-owned Afghan Ariana rejected the report and said in a statement that all their flights have been conducted normally.

The plane has crashed in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, an area that is under the control of the Taliban.

Provincial government spokesman Arif Noori told CBS News’ Ahmad Mukhtar the plane appeared to have been a flight between the southern city of Kandahar and the capital Kabul, about 200 miles to the north. Ghazni province is between those two locations.

Noori said the body of two pilots were found at the crash site and that the plane was completely destroyed. He did not mention any other casualties. Noori said it did not belong to an Afghan carrier, but could not confirm who was operating the aircraft.

Later, some experts reported that it was probably E-11A aircraft assigned to 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron. Wreck of a plane crashed today in Afghanistan looks like to be a U.S. Air Force Bombardier Global 6000 / E-11A “BACN” (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node).

Also in social media was released short footage that showed wreck of a plane with U.S. Air Forces emblem.

Taliban in a statement confirmed the crash of a US Force plane in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province which is under the control of Taliban militants.

The cause of the crash and the number of casualties are still unknown.

E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express for use as an overhead communications-relay platform in SW Asia. It carries Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, allowing disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. BACN was deployed on a test Bombardier BD-700 & originally designated RC-700A under reconnaissance classification. Re-designated E-11A under the special electronics installation category.

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