NIGERIAN Air Force, NAF, is looking up to China for reactivation of seven aircraft as unavailability of the requisite equipment had stalled in-country-reactivation of the aircraft.

The Service disclosed that the most exciting feature of the ongoing reactivation efforts was the fact that some work was being done in-country, thereby affording the service the opportunity to build the capacity of a significant number of its engineers and technicians.

The Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said this while on an operational visit to Kano to assess the LEP work on the 3 L-39ZA which commenced on November 6.

He revealed that two of the F-7 aircraft would be overhauled in Makurdi, while seven aircraft, which require a high level, in-depth maintenance by the original equipment manufacturer were being air freighted to China due to unavailability of all the necessary maintenance and test equipment within Nigeria.

Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement, said the air chief observed that LEP on the L-39ZA was being conducted in Kano for the second time in the last five years.

He also noted that PDM on the Alpha Jet aircraft was also being done in Kainji for the second time, just like the F-7Ni LEP which was being done for the second time in Makurdi in the last five years.

“We have successfully carried out PDM on C-130H aircraft twice in Ikeja, and we are preparing for the third one,” Air Marshal Abubakar said.

He noted that, in addition to the reactivation of aircraft, NAF has about 200 personnel undergoing various air and ground training courses in nine different countries.

These, he said, included four pilots from 403 FTS Kano undergoing training in the Czech Republic where the L-39ZA is manufactured.

“We solicit the support of all Nigerians to NAF, and indeed the entire Armed Forces, as we continue to work round the clock to ensure that our country is secured and our people can pursue their legitimate aspirations without any hindrance,” the CAS added.