The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has sent one of its ATR 42-500MP surveillance aircraft to Germany for maintenance as it works actively to keep its fleet in the air.
ATR-42-500MP serial NAF930 arrived in Monchengladbach, Germany, on 16 September, according to Scramble magazine. It routed through Algeria on its way to Rheinland Air Service (RAS) for maintenance.
The first of two aircraft, ordered in 2007 for $73 million including crew training and logistics, was delivered to the NAF in December 2009 by Alenia Aeronautica (now Leonardo).
The aircraft are configured for maritime patrol/intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and were acquired for maritime surveillance, search and rescue and marine environmental control.
The Nigerian ATR 42MPs are similar to that in service with the Italian Guardia di Finanza. They are equipped with a Galileo Avionica airborne tactical observation and surveillance system that includes search radar and an EOST-45 electro-optic surveillance and tracking sensor.
Unlike the Italian aircraft, the Nigerian ATRs have a hatch that can be opened in flight on the cabin floor for search and rescue and air-drop use.
The Nigerian aircraft (NAF960 and NAF931) are assigned to the 81 Air Maritime Group based at Benin City, Nigeria. They are also deployed with 75 Strike Group in Yola from where they are tasked with combating Boko Haram terrorists.