NAF acquires another Mi-171E fighter chopper to counter terrorism

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 that brought it touched down at NAF Base Makurdi at 3.15pm on Wednesday.

Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Olusegun Philip, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Information, said a team of NAF personnel and technical support staff from the equipment vendor offloaded it.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) officials were on hand to ensure necessary documentation.

Daramola noted that the Mi-171E is the second aircraft purchased by the Buhari administration.

In total, Nigeria has acquired 23 new aircrafts since 2015.

“The new aircraft will undoubtedly boost NAF’s contributions in the fight against insurgency, armed banditry and other criminal activities in the country”, the spokesman added.

The Mi-171E is an advanced, multi-purpose helicopter produced by Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant, a part of Russian Helicopters.

It can be deployed in search-and-rescue (SAR) missions, disaster response, forest fire-fighting and medical assistance.

The helicopter has two enhanced VK-2500-03 engines; each develops a take-off power of 2,400hp and contingency power of 2,700hp.

The chopper is equipped with Safir auxiliary power plant, upgraded transmissions, and internal fuel tanks.

The Mi-171E flies at a maximum speed of 250km/h, has an operational ceiling of 6,000m and can function in temperatures ranging between 50°C and -50°C.

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