By Kingsley Omonobi-Abuja.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has successfully test fired another locally weaponized Alpha Jet aircraft acquired from overseas without weapon delivery capability.
A statement signed by the Director of Airforce Public Relations, Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa said, “The latest feat makes it the third Alpha Jet aircraft to be so reconfigured and weaponised locally.
“The NAF, at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency, had acquired three Alpha Jet aircraft from private individuals in the United States however without combat capability” he said.
He continued, “Subsequent efforts to use foreign vendors to re-militarize the aircraft proved abortive for several reasons.
“The challenge led the NAF to look inward for solution locally by assembling a team of engineers and technicians designated NAF “Technical Response Team (TRT)” comprising serving and retired NAF personnel, and civilians.
“The team has since its inauguration, achieved tremendous successes that have greatly enhanced the operational capability of the NAF, especially with respect to the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, as well as saved huge foreign exchange for the nation.
“One other major feat achieved with the latest reconfigured aircraft is its ability to fire rockets and bombs from both the East and West blocks.