The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) will acquire surveillance aircraft from Diamond Aircraft (DA-42) and Beechcraft (KA-360i) besides A109 Trekker Attack Helicopters as part of its immediate procurement plans, its Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has said.
The CAS revealed that the government was on the verge of procuring additional combat platforms for the NAF. "I therefore make bold to say that the NAF is poised to enhance and sustain critical airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national security imperatives," he said during a passing out parade for NAF cadettes held on April 30, at Air Force Base, Kaduna.
In the recent past, the government has equipped the NAF with JF-17 and Super Tucano combat aircraft. Commensurately, the upgrading of weapon systems, establishment of network centric command and control systems, maintenance of operational support facilities and improvement of personnel working conditions and welfare are on-going, he said.
Diamond Aircraft (DA-42)
The DA-42 is powered by two Austro Engine AE 300 turbocharged common-rail injected 2.0 liter diesel engine with 168 HP and EECU single lever control system. It has a maximum cruise speed of 317kmph and endurance of 12 hours. It can accommodate two pilots. The aircraft has maximum take-off mass of around 2,000kg.
The King Air 360 has a maximum range of 3340km, maximum cruise speed of 577kmph and can accommodate 11 people. It has a payload capacity of 2,300kg.
The King Air 360 and 360ER have a cockpit including an avionics upgrade, digital pressurization and an autothrottle; and a modernized cabin featuring a 10% lower altitude pressure. First introduced in August 2020 and with deliveries expected from the fourth quarter, the model has the same range and weight specifications. The 360 and 360ER models were both FAA type certified in October 2020, and European Aviation Safety Agency certified in September 2021.
In 2021, the equipped price was $8.39M for the 360 and $8.93M for the 360ER.
AW109 Trekker attack helicopter
The Leonardo AW109 Trekker is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207C engines. It can accommodate two crew members and seven passengers. The aircraft has maximum cruise speed of 281 kmph and range of 833km.