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AIR POWER: Nigeria to acquire 24 fighter jets from Italy’s Leonardo

Nigeria plans to acquire 24 fighter jets from Italy’s Leonardo to modernize its fleet and bolster its air force, air force spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Edward Gabkwet said on Friday.

The aircraft will arrive the country in four batches of six jets each, the air force said. Africa’s most populous nation will receive the first six M-346 fighter aircraft before the end of the year, Gabkwet said in a statement.

Vice President of Messrs Leonardo, Mr Claudio Sabatino (right) with Nigeria’s Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar

The news followed a visit by Claudio Sabatino, Leonardo vice president, to Nigeria’s air force chief in Abuja on Wednesday.

Leonardo will provide a minimum of 25 years maintenance support, the air force statement said.

Nigeria is trying to boost its ability to combat insurgency especially in the northeast of the country where Boko Haram militants and the Islamic State regional affiliate is active. Also kidnapping and banditry is rife across the country.

Report courtesy: REUTERS



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