Nigeria confirms purchase of new aircraft, including Leonardo M-346FAs

Nigeria buy Leonardo M346
Italian Air Force T-346A (M-346) advanced trainer jet receives fuel from a tanker aircraft.

Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, said on Saturday that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will soon receive new aircraft following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The new platforms include two Beechcraft King Air 360s, four Diamond DA-62 surveillance aircraft, three Wing Loong II UCAVs and six T-129 attack helicopters.

He also revealed that acquisitions of 12 Agusta 109 Trekker multi-role helicopters and 24 M-346 attack aircraft are underway (as we anticipated in 2021).

Amao added that some of the new platforms are expected to be delivered to NAF before the end of Q1 2023.

These acquisitions were necessary to further increase the NAF's air power employment and projection capabilities, as well as air combat training.

Amao said the new, modern air assets have already proved critical to the success of the bombing campaign against terrorists and insurgents. He attributed NAF's successes in theaters of operations to JF-17 Thunder fighters, A-29 Super Tucano turboprops and Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs).

He emphasised that “more still needed to be done to completely decimate and flush out the remnants of terrorists still preying on soft targets”.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Italian Air Force

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