By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken delivery of a second Mi-171E Helicopter acquired by the federal government from Serbia.
The Ilyushin 76 Strategic Airlifter aircraft that brought the brand new helicopter touched down at NAF Base Makurdi at exactly 3.15p.m. yesterday.
The Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (AOC TAC), Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
A combined team of NAF personnel and technical support staff from the equipment vendor were also on hand to assist in offloading the new aircraft, some parts of which came in crates.
In addition, officials of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Immigration Service were present to ensure necessary documentation.
The new aircraft which is the second of 2 Mi-171E helicopters procured by the current federal government, brings to 23 the total number of brand new aircraft acquired since 2015.
A statement by NAF said the new aircraft would undoubtedly boost NAF’s contributions in the fight against insurgency, armed banditry and other criminal activities in the country.
It said the new aircraft would be assembled in Makurdi by a team from the equipment vendor, assisted by NAF technicians, prior to test-flying and formal induction into the NAF.