The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), yesterday, took delivery of the second batch of Super Mushshak Trainer Aircraft that the Federal Government had since ordered from Pakistan. The Ilyushin 76 Strategic Airlifter Aircraft that brought the new Super Mushshak Aircraft touched down at the NAF Base in Kaduna at exactly 7.45 am yesterday.
The Chief of Logistics at NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Bello Garba, received the new aircraft on behalf of the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
A combined team of NAF and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) personnel were also on hand to assist in offloading the new aircraft, some parts of which came in crates.
In addition, officials of the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Immigration Service were present to ensure necessary documentation. The newly delivered aircraft, which are capable of being used for acrobatics training, are all brand new and fitted with digital glass cockpit.
The newly received aircraft, five in number, form the final batch of a total of 10 Super Mushshak aircraft, the procurement of which the current Federal Government Administration initiated in Year 2016. By 2015, local primary flying training in the NAF was almost grounded thereby necessitating the procurement of the Super Mushshak Aircraft.
Consequently, with the delivery of the new Super Mushshak aircraft, primary flying training of NAF pilots at 401 Flying Training School (FTS), Kaduna has just received a boost. It is believed that with this delivery, the capacity of the NAF to effectively prosecute the counterinsurgency operations in the North East.
The MFI-17 Mushshak is a single engine basic trainer aircraft designed and developed by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) for the Pakistan Armed Forces. It was derived from Saab MFI-17 Supporter Trainer Aircraft. More than 200 Mushshaks are currently in operation worldwide.
PAC rolled out an improved version, the MFI-395 Super Mushshak Aircraft in 1995. The Super Mushshak took its maiden flight in August 1996. The Aircraft, with a maximum and cruise speeds of 238km/h and 210km/h respectively, can loiter in the air for a maximum of five hours ten minutes.