The Nigerian Air Force has received two additional Diamond-62 aircraft as part of its efforts to intensify on-going air operations against insecurity in the country.
The new aircraft were received at a ceremony held in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Wednesday.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Director, Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
In his remarks during the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, noted that the process that culminated in the arrival of the two additional aircraft began about two years ago when the Federal Government appropriated funds for the acquisition of four Diamond-62 aircraft for the NAF.
According to him, “Out of the four aircraft, the first two aircraft were delivered between February and July 2023 while the remaining two were being received today.”
Speaking further, Abubakar noted that the two DA-62 aircraft received earlier in the year had since been deployed to the operating theatres in support of the on-going efforts to restore peace and stability in troubled areas within the country.
While urging the air and ground crew that would handle the aircraft to eschew discipline and professionalism, Abubakar admonished them to also “ensure the proper maintenance and operation of the aircraft in line with recommended best practices by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.”
He also implored them to leverage the capabilities available on the aircraft to enhance NAF’s operational efficiency.
The statement read in part:“In paying glowing tribute to the FG for its commitment to revamping the fortunes of the NAF and other Services, the CAS also noted that the receipt of the two additional aircraft confirms the sincerity and commitment of the government towards ensuring peace returns to hitherto troubled spots.
“He went on to add that the NAF will in no distant time take delivery of additional platforms that include the M346FA aircraft, AW109 Trekker light attack helicopter, AH-1Z Super Cobra, T-129 ATAK helicopters and the King Air 360i Beechcraft aircraft.”
While speaking, the Kwara State governor, Abdulrazak Abdulrahman, commended the NAF for its efforts, alongside other security agencies towards ridding the nation of its numerous security challenges.
Abdulrahman expressed his appreciation to the CAS for making Ilorin the home base of the DA-62 which was indicative of the peaceful and conducive nature of the state.
The statement added, “He then assured the CAS of his administration’s unwavering support to the NAF and other security agencies in their onerous tasks of safeguarding lives and properties.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding, Mobility Command, AVM Tajudeen Yusuf, noted that the “acquisition of the DA-62 aircraft stems from its ability to carry out robust missions in furtherance of combat operations.
“He then added that domiciling the DA-62 under 303 Medium Airlift Group in Ilorin will no doubt go a long way in breathing life into the unit while enhancing its operational activities.”