The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday took delivery of five new trainer aircraft, the final batch that the Federal Government ordered from Pakistan.
The new aircraft, Super Mushshak, which are capable of being used for acrobatics training, are all brand new and fitted with digital glass cockpit and the aircraft would be assembled in Nigeria by a team of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and NAF technicians prior to test flying and formal induction into the NAF.
A statement by Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Vice Marshal Olatokunbo Adesanya in Abuja, yesterday said the Ilyushin 76 Strategic Airlifter aircraft, which brought the new Super Mushshak aircraft touched down at NAF Base Kaduna at exactly 7: 45 am, yesterday. He said the Chief of Logistics at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Bello Garba, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
A combined team of NAF and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) personnel was also on hand to assist in offloading the new aircraft, some parts of which came in crates, noting that officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) were present to ensure necessary documentation.
“The newly received aircraft, five in number, form the final batch of a total of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft, the procurement of which the current Federal Government administration initiated in 2016.
“Consequently, with the delivery of the new Super Mushshak aircraft, primary flying training of NAF pilots at 401 Flying Training School (FTS), Kaduna has just received a boost.
“Without doubts, the delivery of the aircraft would go a long way in helping to sustain the process of building capacity to effectively prosecute the counterinsurgency operations in the North East as well as other forms of criminalities in the country,” the statement said
NAF took delivery of the first batch of five brand new Super Mushshak Aircraft on July 14, 2017, following which the aircraft were inducted and deployed for primary training of NAF pilots.Some NAF personnel had undergone training in Pakistan, as instructor pilots and technicians on the Super Mushshak aircraft, as part of the contract.