Nigerian Air Force to induct two new AW109s next week


The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will introduce into service two newly delivered AW109 helicopters on 28 January, after receiving them earlier this month.

The NAF said yesterday the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, inspected the two aircraft after their re-assembly at 307 Executive Airlift Group. The helicopters will be inducted into service by President and Commander-in-Chief Muhammadu Buhari on 28 January at the Eagle Square in the capital Abuja.

The helicopters are part of an order for six that was announced in 2018, with a first batch of two arriving in April 2019. The next two arrived at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on board a Boeing 737-400 Cargolux Airline aircraft from Malpensa International Airport in Italy on 15 January, along with equipment and spares.

A team from the Nigerian Air Force and Leonardo Helicopters then proceeded to begin assembling the aircraft (NAF 579 and NAF 578) in preparation for introduction to service.

The two latest AW109s will be deployed to theatres of operation across the country to reinforce the Air Force’s capability in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality, according to Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information with the Nigerian Air Force.

The previously delivered AW109 Powers have been fitted with gun and rocket pods and used on combat operations.