31 March, 2014
Reliable reports reaching Beegeagle’s Blog indicate that the Nigerian Air Force may have received a major boost to its counterinsurgency operational capabilities with the delivery last week of an unknown number of the highly rated ALX Super Tucano ground attack aircraft.
At about 1100 hrs on Saturday 29 March, at least two units of the potent aircraft were spotted while circling to land at Makurdi in central Nigeria and they were reportedly painted in a grey colour scheme. The aircraft reportedly flew in from Abuja.
As of yesterday, feelers indicated that the ALX Super Tucano aircraft are sure to be unveiled at the biennial Nigerian Air Force AIR EXPO, the third edition of which takes place this year in which the NAF are marking the golden jubilee of their coming into being as the air warfare arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
It was further gathered that details on the induction such as the precise number acquired as well as static and aerial displays of the potent aircraft shall be made available at the event.
Beegeagle’s Bloggers say ‘kudos’ to the Federal Government for the seemingly renewed interest in boosting the combat power of the NAF. It would be recalled that the NAF in 2013-2014 are believed to have either placed orders for or taken delivery of a mix of nineteen transport/assault/attack helicopters including three Mi-35P attack helicopters, six advanced Mi-35M night attack helicopters, four Mi-17 transport helicopters and six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters.
Going back to 2010, the NAF have either commenced or completed construction work on new aircraft hangars at no less than seven airbases. Of the lot, only Ilorin is a new base, with the rest being decades old. This has led savvy watchers of the NAF to suggest an incoming cascade of airframes.
Indeed, a year ago while inspecting construction work at the Benin airbase, the incumbent Chief of Defence Staff (then Chief of the Air Staff) called for work to be expedited on the construction of the hangar in view of the imminent delivery of unspecified new aircraft.