#TrackNigeria: The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of over 3 L-39ZA aircraft, which were reactivated in-country by the original manufacturers of the aircraft, Messrs Aerovodochody of Czech Republic.
The NAF spokesperson, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola who disclosed this in a statement said the handing over ceremony, which had the Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Marek Skolil, in attendance, took place on Friday at the NAF 403 Flying Training School (403 FTS), Kano.
Daramola said the reactivation will ensure that the NAF increases the number of fighter pilots available to man its existing fighter jets as well as the new platforms, such as the A-29 Super Tucano and JF-17 Thunder Multi-Role Fighter, which are to be inducted into NAF inventory soon.
Acct the statement, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, while making his remarks, explained that the handing over of the 3 reactivated aircraft marked another milestone in NAF’s efforts to ensure that 403 FTS continues to operate optimally.
He noted that the in-country reactivation of the aircraft was also done in pursuit of the overall objective to domicile all maintenance and training activities locally, thereby resulting in huge foreign exchange savings which could be channeled towards providing other facilities.
The Air Chief also noted that the NAF was encouraged by the presence of the Czech Ambassador at the event. The statement quoted him as saying, “the Service is looking forward to sustaining the good working relationship that has been re-established as well as having a long and fruitful partnership that is beneficial to the 2 countries. It is also my belief that we will reach a reasonable conclusion on plans to overhaul additional 6 x L-39ZA aircraft.”
In his remarks, the Czech Republic Ambassador noted the supply of the L-29 aircraft, which were used for training as well as combat operations during the Nigerian Civil War paved way for the acquisition of the L-39ZA, which has been used extensively by the NAF for training over the past 33 years and, more recently, for operations in the Northeast. By Global Sentinel