NAF sparkles with second pair of Diamonds

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received a second pair of Diamond DA62 surveillance aircraft, bringing the fleet to four aircraft, and joining two aircraft delivered earlier this year, the first of them in February.


The DA62 in flight. Picture: Diamond Aircraft

The first pair of DA 62 aircraft have already been deployed to operational theatres in support of Nigeria’s ongoing effort to restore peace and stability in the face of terrorist and insurgent groups.

The Nigerian Air Force officially took delivery of the two aircraft on October 11, according to Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the NAF director of public relations, the day after they arrived in country.

A reception ceremony for the aircraft was held at General Tunde Idiagbon International Airport near Ilorin in Kwara State. The aircraft had been expected to join the NAF’s other ISR aircraft with No.107 Air Maritime Group at Benin, but Air Vice Marshal Tajudeen Yusuf said that they would instead be assigned to No.303 Medium Airlift Group at Ilorin.

All four DA62s were present for the ceremony, and all were fitted with undernose electro-optical sensor, probably the Hensoltd Argos II HDT electro-optical turret.

The DA62’s Universal Nose can carry sensors weighing up to 60 kg, while the belly can carry maritime or surveillance radars of up to 50 kg. A satellite communications pod can house L-, Ku-, or Ka-Band antennas.

Jon Lake

Jon Lake

Jon is defence editor for both Arabian and African Aerospace magazines.