The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) took delivery of a reactivated ATR 42 aircraft during a ceremony in Abuja on July 3, the service announced.
The aircraft, NAF 930, was received at the flight line of 307 Executive Airlift Group at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who is currently in the Northeast to oversee the ongoing subsidiary Operation LONG REACH II.
Other dignitaries present to receive the newly reactivated aircraft were the Director of Operations, AVM Ayoola Jolasinmi, Director of Air Engineering, AVM Isah Muhammad, and the Commander 307 EAG, Air Commodore Francis Edosa.
The reactivation of the aircraft was successfully executed at the Rheinland Air Service (RAS)’s facility in Monchengladbach, Germany after clocking 5,000 hours of operation. The commissioning ceremony for the aircraft was originally scheduled to be completed within 6 months. However, due to the effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the completion date was extended by 3 months.
According to NAF, the reactivation will ensure availability of more serviceable Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms for the service’s various missions such as counter-insurgency (COIN) operations.
Over the last five years, the NAF, in collaboration with its technical partners, has successfully reactivated some of its air platforms in-country, including the conduct of Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) on two C-130H Hercules tactical transport aircraft as well as the PDM/avionics upgrade of three Alpha Jet light attack aircraft. However, this is the first PDM on the NAF ATR 42 aircraft after 10 years of operation.
The ATR 42 is a twin-turboprop, short-haul regional airliner developed and manufactured in France and Italy by ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional), a joint venture formed by French aerospace company Aérospatiale (now Airbus) and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia (now Leonardo S.p.A.).