Nigerian Air Force ATR 42 aircraft, NAF 930.

By Doris Esa

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of another reactivated aircraft, an ATR-42 (NAF 930) for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) in its fight against insurgency.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Relations and Information, who made this known in a statement in Abuja, said that NAF took delivery of the aircraft on Friday.

Daramola said that the effort was in furtherance of NAF’s sustained efforts at ensuring the availability of more serviceable ISR platforms for the prosecution of war against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.

He said the aircraft was received at the flight line of 307 Executive Airlift Group, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“The aircraft was received by the Chief of Policy and Plans, AVM Oladayo Amao, on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, currently in the North East to oversee the ongoing subsidiary Operation Long Reach II.

“The reactivation of the aircraft, which was successfully executed at the Rheinland Air Services (RAS) Facilities, Monchengladbach, Germany after clocking 5,000 hours of operation.

“It was earlier scheduled to be completed within six months.

“However, due to the effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the completion date was extended by three months,’’ he said.

Daramola recalled that over the last five years, NAF in collaboration with its technical partners has successfully reactivated some of its platforms in the country.

The platforms include the conduct of periodic depot maintenance (PDM) on 2 C-130H aircraft as well as the PDM/Avionics upgrade of three Alpha Jets.

“However, being the first PDM on the ATR-42 aircraft (NAF 930) after 10 years of operation, it is expedient to conduct this major maintenance activity abroad to take advantage of the facilities and expertise of RAS.’’

According to him, it also helps to build the capacity of the NAF engineers and technicians that participated in the reactivation process in Germany.