The Nigerian Air Force announced it has completed the in-country reactivation of 2 additional L-39ZA aircraft, in collaboration with the original equipment manufacturer, Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic.
The handover ceremony of the two aircraft took place on December 4, at the NAF 403 Flying Training School (403 FTS), Kano. It was noted that the just-completed life extension program on the 2 L-39ZA was the latest in the series, and would further boost the number of available aircraft.
Designed in the 1960s, the Aero L-39 Albatros is a jet trainer that also serves a light ground-attack aircraft.
Speaking during the acceptance flight and handover ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, stated that reactivation work on a third L-39ZA aircraft was also progressing steadily, with the assurance that it would be completed and handed over the following week.
He further disclosed that there were also 3 other L-39ZA aircraft currently undergoing general overhaul and avionics upgrade at the Aero Vodochody Facility in Prague, Czech Republic, which were expected back in the country before the third quarter of 2021.
Air Marshal Abubakar also revealed that the service was on the verge of completing in-country periodic depot maintenance (PDM) and avionics upgrade of additional 2 Alpha-Jet aircraft at the 407 Air Combat Training Group, Kainji. What i smore, two F7-Ni aircraft are undergoing the life extension program in Makurdi, while 7 of same aircraft type were being air freighted to China for overhaul and avionics upgrade.
“Plans are in top gear to carry out major inspection on the Mi-24V and A-109 helicopters, while arrangements for maintenance on an additional C-130H (NAF 918) has been completed and work is scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year. This would bring to 3 the number of C-130H aircraft successfully reactivated in-country,” Abubakar said.
In addition to aircraft upgrades, Nigeria is also preparing to receive a fleet of 12 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with work on the facilities that would house them already underway. The service also received a second brand new Mi-171E helicopter earlier this week.