The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is set to
induct the second batch of two new Agusta Westland 109 Power Attack Helicopters
procured by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Nigerian Air Force said the attack
helicopters were procured by the FG as part of the fleet enhancement efforts to
enable more effective and efficient employment of air power to tackle the
security challenges facing the Nation.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, disclosed this in a report on Saturday 18th January, 2020 in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Daramola said the two helicopters, along with associated equipment and spares, arrived Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on board a Boeing 737-400 Cargolux Airline aircraft from Malpensa International Airport in Italy on 15th January, 2020.
He said the helicopters were received by the Nigerian Air Force Team, which was led by Air Commodore Halim Adebowale, as well as the Country Representative of Leonardo Helicopters, manufacturers of the aircraft.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information said that the Nigerian Air Force engineers and technicians, in collaboration with a Team from Leonardo, have commenced assembly of the helicopters preparatory to their induction into service.
He recalled that the NAF had earlier received the first batch of 2 new Agusta 109 Power Helicopters that were inducted into the Service on 29th April, 2019 during the 55th NAF Day Celebration in Federal Capital Territory, 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.
Beside 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. Previously, over 20 grounded aircraft have been reactivated within the past 5 years.
Ibikunle Daramola said after induction, the two new helicopters would be deployed to theatres of operation across the country to reinforce Nigerian Air Force capability in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.