Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Nigeria re-militarises two Alpha Jets

One of the two Alpha Jets that the NAF has militarised. Aircraft 475 was spotted during its delivery flight from the US to Nigeria in May 2015. Source: Nigerian Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) announced on 26 January that it has successfully armed two of the four demilitarised Alpha Jets bought from the United States in 2015.
To help meet the urgent requirement for additional strike aircraft to support counter-insurgency operations in northeast Nigeria the NAF launched a programme to remilitarise the aircraft, which had been limited to training by their inability to carry weapons, said a statement released in the name of NAF spokesman Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa.
Gp Capt Famuyiwa said some foreign companies asked for USD20,000-30,000 to carry out initial assessments of the project, so the NAF decided to form its own team to carry out the work.
"The model worked on the ground, and has since been mounted on the Alpha Jets, and test flown successfully," he said. "This feat is a major research and development breakthrough for the NAF and the nation as a huge foreign exchange saver, given the project only cost about N400,000 [USD2,000]."
Cpt Famuyiwa did not detail the weapons that had been integrated with the aircraft, but the announcement was accompanied by a photograph showing an Alpha Jet with what appeared to be a pod for launching 68 mm SNEB rockets and a 250 kg unguided bomb attached to its hardpoints.

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