Fighter jet L39ZA ready for terror war – Military

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, spoke to reporters on August 29, 2020.

The NAF 354 L39ZA aircraft has been reactivated and is ready for air operations to combat Boko Haram, armed bandits and other criminal insurgents in the country, the Air Force announced on Friday.

On Friday, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff, who inspected the ground running of the aircraft at the 403 Flying Training School of the Nigerian Air Force Base, Kano, announced that preparations to escalate the war against terrorism in the North had been concluded.

A team of engineers were repairing another L39 aircraft, marked NAF 364 when newsmen visited the Air Force Base on Friday.

This was the second time in five years that the Air Force was in Kano, Makurdi and Kainji repairing fighter aircraft.

Three L39ZA fighter jets are to be reactivated at Kano, nine at Makurdi and two at Kainji, for a total of 14 fighter jets to be mobilized and deployed in conflict zones by the end of December, Abubakar said.

He added:
“Apart from the L39 aircraft, we are also hoping that by the end of December, we will see two Alpha Jet Fighter aircrafts coming out to join the Air Force in ensuring that the country is secured.

“Two weeks ago, I was in Makurdi, Benue state, where the Federal Government is equally supporting the reactivation of nine fighter aircraft. Seven are going to be air-fleeted to China for overhauling, while two will be overhauled locally here in Nigeria.

“The most exciting thing about what we are doing in terms of mobilising assets for the security of Nigeria is the fact that some of these maintenance activities are being done locally here in Nigeria.”

A statement by Air Commando Ibikunle Darmola, Speaker of the Army, revealed that some 23 fighter aircraft have been reactivated since 2015.

Darmola said with the Chief of Air Staff's evaluation of the ground-run, the fly test will be performed on Saturday while the handing over will be performed when repairs are done.