Authorities of the Nigerian Air Force, (NAF) confirm delivery of two new Agusta 109 power helicopters procured for its operations to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
A statement by the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola says since 2015, “an unprecedented total of 47 aircraft that have either been inducted into the NAF or ordered for the Service” includes 21 brand new aircraft with the two new Agusta 109 power helicopters.
Arrangements are already on to induct the two operational aircraft that have been assembled by NAF engineers and technicians in collaboration with a Team from the manufacturers Leonardo Helicopters as seen in the photos.
It will be recalled that Nigeria is also expecting 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft it ordered for the Air Force from the United States. Initially scheduled for delivery in 2020, investigations, however, confirm that the delivery of the aircraft worth $496 million will only be possible in 2024. The fighter jets are to combat the Boko Haram terrorists.
The US Department of Defence had in December 2018 assured the Nigerian military that it will ensure the delivery of the 12 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft in 2021 when the 2020 target was no longer feasible. Nigeria paid for the fighter jets in February 2018.
Below is the full text of the statement by the Nigerian Air Force on the two new operational helicopters.
OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY RECEIVES BOOST AS NAF PREPARES TO INDUCT the SECOND BATCH OF 2 NEW AGUSTA 109 POWER HELICOPTERS
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to induct the second batch of 2 new AgustaWestland 109 Power Attack Helicopters procured by the Federal Government as part of the fleet enhancement efforts to enable more effective and efficient employment of airpower to tackle the security challenges facing the Nation. The 2 helicopters, along with associated equipment and spares, arrived Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja onboard a Boeing 737-400 Cargolux Airline aircraft from Malpensa International Airport in Italy on 15 January 2020.
They were received by a NAF Team, led by Air Commodore Halim Adebowale, as well as the Country Representative of Leonardo Helicopters, manufacturers of the aircraft. NAF engineers and technicians, in collaboration with a Team from Leonardo, have commenced assembly of the helicopters preparatory to their induction into service.
It would be recalled that the NAF had earlier received the first batch of 2 new Agusta 109 Power Helicopters that were inducted into the Service on 29 April 2019 during the 55th NAF Day Celebration in Abuja. The Service, within the last 5 years, has taken delivery of 21 brand new aircraft, including 10 Super Mushshak, 5 Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships, 2 Bell 412 Helicopters and 4 Agusta 109 Power Helicopters. Besides these, 15 additional aircraft have been ordered by the Federal Government, which include 12 Super Tucano attack aircraft and 3 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter aircraft. In addition, the Service also took over 11 aircraft from other MDAs.
These include 3 EC-135 helicopters and 3 Dauphin helicopters from NNPC, 3 Donier 228 aircraft and 2 Agusta 101 from the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF); making an unprecedented total of 47 aircraft that have either been inducted into the NAF or ordered for the Service since 2015. In the same vein, over 20 previously grounded aircraft have been reactivated within the past 5 years. After induction, the 2 new helicopters will be deployed to theatres of operation across the country to reinforce NAF capability in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
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